Retail Observer

February 2015

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 45 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM FEBRUARY 2015 46 Timothy Bednarz Team Training Contact Timothy Bednarz at 715.342.1018 or at Excerpt from: A Team's Pupose, Function & Use: Pinpoint Leadership Skill Development Training Series FIVE BEHAVIORS THAT UNDERMINE THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR TEAMS CHARACTER STYLE W hile some roles build team strength and performance, leaders should also understand that other roles are assumed that subvert and undermine overall team strength. These destructive behaviors not only produce a negative team environment, but can also produce a negative work environment that leaders should be aware of. It is important for leaders to acknowledge the existence of subversive goals, roles and individuals within the organizational environment, and to intervene when teams and team members do not possess the strength to monitor and police individual behaviors. In other instances, leaders might need to intervene when disruptive individuals refuse to acknowledge the authority and power of a team over their behavior. • Cutting or Shutting Off Discussion—Individuals that assume this role minimize individual contributions or ignore them altogether. They do not allow the individual team member to provide his or her feedback by interrupting or remaining completely silent when they do. They change the topic or the direction of the conversation with the purpose of cutting or shutting off discussions, undermining the individual member's contributions to the team and, ultimately, making them feel useless—resulting in anger, resentment, arguments, withdrawal of the team member being minimized, and a creation of personal barriers. • Analyzing & Labeling—Team members that analyze and label will object to the contributions of individual team members by pigeonholing them in a way they believe describes their attitudes and motives. This immediately threatens any forward progress and can ultimately destroy the cohesiveness of the group. Rather than focus on the business at hand, these individuals sidetrack any and all discussion as the individual that has been attacked argues whether how they have been categorized is justified. Labeling is a popular technique with individuals who have nothing of substance to contribute. • Dominating—Dominant team members take over all discussion under the rationale that they alone have something to contribute and that all others have nothing of value to offer. These individuals want to sway the group through their heavy-handed behavior. They are less interested in the overall group's goals and interests and are completely focused upon their own agendas. When individual team members are allowed to dominate a team environment, it cuts overall participation and reduces the value of the team as a resource for achieving goals. • 'Yes, Butting'—Individual team members who assume the "Yes, but" role within the team environment say one thing and mean another. Rather than directly stating their point of view or how they feel, they use the "Yes, but" technique to soften the blow of disagreement. Communicating mixed, ambiguous messages in its worst form displays hypocrisy and personal discounting of individual contributions. Leaders should understand that discussions are most effective when interaction is based on clear and unambiguous communication. • Nay Saying—Naysayers disagree with virtually everything said, and, when people tire of their contrariness, attempt to mask their negativity and underlying bitterness by claiming, "I'm just playing devil's advocate." This allows them to continue in their cynical behavior and ongoing campaign to get the team to see the futility of their efforts. Naysayers ensure that what is right about the team's work gets completely buried. The Leader's Responsibility When Observing Subverting Roles and Behaviors The presence of any of the preceding subverting behaviors requires swift and immediate intervention on the part of the team leader. If allowed to continue, these behaviors will quickly get out of hand and destroy the team's strengths, effectiveness and overall cohesiveness. In cases where destructive behaviors continue, leaders may need to personally meet with the offending members outside of the group to discuss the impact of their problem and a corrective course of action. If the obstructive behaviors continue, leaders will need to take actions to eliminate these individuals from the team environment and perhaps, ultimately, from the organization. RO

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