New Blog Location!

Greetings! DiversityU is now actively blogging with partner company MYCA:Learning, as we move into giving ourselves a facelift. Please find us here at http://blog.mycalearning.com/ and you can continue to follow us on Twitter with the handle @DiversityU.

Thank you!

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Bullying in the Workplace: What if the Bully is my Boss?

We’re hearing more and more about bullying in the workplace these days, and research shows that it is a common problem.  Indications are that it may even be on the rise.  This is not surprising, given the current and pervasive sense of job insecurity, as well as organizations’ increased demands for output and productivity while providing less in compensation, benefits, and support (Liz Alt Kislik, Liz Kislik Associates LLC).

Workplace bullies can be peers but—all too often—employees may find that the person bullying them on the job is their boss.  Statistics gathered by The Civility Partners LLC show that between 53–71% of workplace bullies are in management.  In most cases, victims are fired or transferred and bullies go unpunished.

One problem with bullying is that it is difficult to define.  How do you determine whether your superior is truly a bully, or just simply demanding?

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industry defines bullying in the workplace as “repeated, unreasonable actions of individuals (or a group) directed towards an employee (or a group of employees) which are intended to intimidate, degrade, humiliate, or undermine; or which create a risk to the health or safety of the employee(s).”

Managers who are respectful, fair, and set reasonable expectations for performance—although demanding—are not defined as bullies.  Aggression is a single act, while bullying involves repeated acts against a target.

In the workplace, bullying always shows up as an exertion of power—whether it’s overt or covert.  A bully’s intent is to intimidate, force compliance, or ensure that the subject feels powerless (Kislik).

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, workplace bullying involves the deliberate and repeated mistreatment of a target that is driven by a desire to control that person.  The organization defines workplace bullying as “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:

  • Verbal abuse,
  • Offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, and/or
  • Work interference—sabotage—which prevents work from getting done.”

Some consider workplace bullying a legitimate management style based on healthy competition.  In fact, cultural values such as individuality, assertiveness, and achievement create an environment in which bullying can flourish.  But, clearly, bullying behaviors are unacceptable and, if they are happening, they are probably going to continue until something puts a stop to it.

You can take action by:

  • Following any workplace bullying policies currently in place
  • Taking any necessary precautions to keep yourself physically safe
  • Keeping a factual journal with details of the bullying events (including dates, times, places, what was said/done, who was present)
  • Maintaining copies of electronic and paper documentation that supports your case
  • Having a witness when possible
  • Reporting the behavior to the appropriate person(s) outlined by your organization.  If the bully is your immediate supervisor, you may have to go to the next level of management or present your case to Human Resources.
  • Telling the bully firmly that the behavior is unacceptable and asking him/her to stop (document this)
  • Finding someone to vent to or using a separate journal to release emotions
  • Seeking outside council (legal or civil rights) as necessary
  • Learning more about workplace bullying and creating a greater awareness by sharing what you’ve learned
  • Refusing to retaliate

You can regain control by:

  • Recognizing that you are being bullied
  • Realizing that you are not the source of the problem
  • Expecting the bully to deny and misconstrue your reports
  • Recognizing that bullying is about control and not performance
  • Adjusting your attitude and changing the way you view bullying behaviors
  • Exuding confidence and courage and not letting the bully get to you
  • Deciding not to be a victim
  • Persisting in positive thinking

 

Have you ever felt bullied by your boss?  If you are an organizational leader, can you identify any bullying behaviors in what you consider to be your “management style”?  What positive changes, programs, or strategies could your organization implement to combat bullying in the workplace?

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Diversity and Inclusion for Tomorrow’s Workforce

The number of Hispanic and Asian students in American schools has increased by more than 5 million people since the 1990’s, sites an April 4, 2012 article in the New York Times. Nationwide, approximately a quarter of all students come from homes where English is not the primary language.  With a student population so heterogeneous, it is more important than ever to stress the need for a diverse and inclusive atmosphere among institutions of higher learning.  The students who come from these academic organizations are tomorrow’s work force; the lessons, skills, and examples they are exposed to today will be the ones they take with them into their fields of study.  It is up to educators, faculty, and staff of such learning establishments to make diversity and inclusion a core part of their syllabus.

Why Target Higher Education?

Comprehensive studies by the University of North Carolina in the late 1990s have concluded that professors of higher education make a considerable impression upon their students and the way these students feel about diversity and inclusion.  Students between the ages of 18-22 are at an impressionable stage of development where culture and value orientation are being established.  At this age, adolescents are forming their own opinions without worrying about the impression left on adults.  Free to draw their own conclusions, students react well in situations where they are free to reevaluate the opinions they were exposed to as children and develop themselves individually.  With the proper direction toward a reduction in barriers to inclusion and diversity, the experiences act as a catalyst for intellectual and emotional growth (University of North Carolina, 1990s).  If diversity and inclusion are portrayed as an opportunity versus a handicap, these future leaders will show an enthusiasm and openness toward a varied faction of colleagues.

The Keys to Making Students Comfortable

Students with diverse cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds make education exciting and complex, according to the researches at the University of North Carolina.  As such, it is the responsibility of educators, staff, and faculty involved in higher education to create a safe atmosphere where diversity is accepted and celebrated.

In any classroom, students examine the physical attributes and abilities of a teacher, his or her race, gender, ethnicity, age, speech, and behavior.  Also scrutinized, but not obvious to the naked eye, are the political opinions, sexual orientation, and religion of the teacher.  But students with backgrounds different than the teacher also focus on the role academics plays in relationship to the physical, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds of students.  In the study by the University of North Carolina, professors who follow the below guidelines have the most success in developing a positive class environment free from barriers:

  • Before entering the classroom, define your comfort level about diversity and inclusion
  • Formulate a statement explaining your perspective.  Why/how do you feel this way?  What examples from your past support your perspective?
  • Be open to hearing students’ perspectives
  • Develop a safe atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion
  • Be aware of your presuppositions and assumptions
  • Avoid any bias in your choice of teaching materials

Programs such as Diversity University’s online training program for instructors, faculty, and staff can help create a positive experience for educators as well as students.  Along with the necessary syllabus, it is crucial that teachers foster a healthy environment of diversity and inclusion that graduates can take into the workforce and impart among their colleagues.

Please share your experiences about diversity in the classroom.  How do you make a comfort zone free from bias or barriers?  Have you considered using any of the above techniques, and if so, what feedback can you share with others?

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You Ever Walk Out of the Room? “The Do’s and Don’ts for Women”

At a recent conference for women executives sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, Jack and Suzy Welch offered career advice, in the form of “do’s and don’ts for women.”  WSJs John Bussey reported that some women were so infuriated by Welch’s comments that they walked out.  What seemed to really be most upsetting was his comment

that corporate America is a “meritocracy” where women can rise if they just work hard enough – with no acknowledgement of subtle gender biases/barriers that can get in the way no matter how hard one works.  His list of 5 do’s and don’ts were:

1)      Don’t bother with affinity groups – which he called “victim’s units” and claimed that when he was CEO, the “best women” would tell him that they didn’t want to be in a “special group for women.”

2)      Don’t bother with mentoring – saying it is one of the “worst ideas that ever came along…..you should see everyone as a mentor.”

3)      Do take on the hard jobs – instead of focusing on women’s groups and mentoring, go get the tough assignments and prove yourself!

4)      Do insist on a thorough review – coaching is meaningless without a “rigorous appraisal system that lets you know where you stand and how to improve.”  He also said that the appraisal “is the best way to attack bias because performance is documented.”

5)      Do work your butt off – “over-deliver, and performance is it.”

 My reactions:

1)      For most organizations, the term “affinity groups” is a thing of the past.  Most have adopted the term, “Employee Resource Groups” and are increasingly demonstrating their ability to add value to the bottom line of their organizations.  It is true that during Jack Welch’s reign as CEO of GE, the early “affinity groups” were often focused on being a “support group” for those from similar diverse backgrounds, and a means for those with more seniority and experience to “mentor” (Yes, I did use that word!) those who were younger and less experienced/savvy.  However, they have evolved quite a bit in the last decade as progressive organizations realized that they were often an “untapped resource” that really could add value if leveraged and supported in the right ways.

2)      While it’s true that no one should limit themselves to just one mentor (as in “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”) it must also be acknowledged that the best mentoring tends to occur when the “mentor” sees something in the “mentee” that reminds them of themselves and makes a personal commitment to invest their very precious time in his/her development.  In other words, mentors pick mentees….when it works, more often than not. And, as the saying goes, “If everyone is responsible, no one is responsible….it may also be true that if everyone is a mentor, perhaps no one is truly a mentor.”

3)      I believe there have been a number of studies that have shown that women tend to be “side-lined” in staff support organizations.  While women can throw their hats in the ring for the meaningful line jobs (otherwise known as the “hard jobs” according to Mr. Welch), they still need to be selected for those jobs, and all to often, they aren’t.

4)      There is always some amount of subjectivity involved in every performance evaluation, and I venture to say that this is applicable to everyone being evaluated.  However, whenever there is subjectivity, it is also the most fertile ground for subtle biases to operate. If others in the organization aren’t being held accountable for managing their biases, then any woman’s evaluation, to some degree, will be a reflection of how well she managed the subtle barriers in the environment in order to do her job.  And, if a woman doesn’t sense that her manager appreciates the different reality that she faces every day in the organization because of her gender, she is unlikely to talk to her manager about these barriers — that she perceives, rightly or wrongly — are due to her gender. The risk of being “labeled” in negative ways for surfacing this conversation are far too risky.

5)      I am a night owl.  It’s not unusual for me to be sending an email to a client between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.  What has continued to amaze me over the last 10 years and how often I get an immediate email back from women – who are at home and still working, even though they need to be at their office early in the morning.  My point:  I believe that most women understand that they need to work their butts off, and are doing just that.  Most of the successful women/people of color that I interact with have truly internalized the belief that they have to work twice as hard….it simply is their reality in organizations that don’t understand the different reality that they face every day based on their differences.  Let me be clear:  this is not intended to say that others (i.e., white males) don’t work incredibly hard.  Those who ascend the corporate ladder have to work hard.  There is, however, a “plus” factor for those who don’t look like them that they often can’t appreciate because it’s not “their reality.”

Jack Welch was clearly an incredible leader in so many ways –  he would have been even better if he had asked one simple question……”What is it that I may not understand that inhibits you from contributing your maximum potential to this organization?

We invite our readers to comment on any or all of the above!

Patricia C. Pope

Connect on LinkedIn @ http://www.linkedin.com/in/patriciacpope

 

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Breaking “Polite Silence” at Work to Build an Inclusive Culture

In 2002, in preparation for the 1-year anniversary of the Civil Unrest in Cincinnati that occurred in April the previous year following the death of Timothy Thomas (and became known as the Cincinnati Race Riots), I was asked to facilitate conversations between different groups of college and senior-level High School students on their thoughts about racial barriers in the City.  A 60-90 second clip from these conversations was aired every evening for 30 days leading up to the one-year anniversary on a local TV station’s 11:00 p.m. news program, culminating in a 30 minute special at the end of the month called “Breaking Polite Silence.”

In the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s death, I’ve been doing an informal survey with clients, as well as participants at the recent International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals in Puerto Rico in April — asking if the Trayvon Martin case is being discussed at work? The answer has always been the same. “No.” Blacks have said, “Of course we talk about it among ourselves, but it’s not being discussed with our other co-workers.” I think this says a lot about the extent to which we have (or haven’t) created an inclusive work environment.

This has been a major story on national news for weeks.  If we are striving to have an inclusive work environment, wouldn’t it seem that we would reach out to our Black co-workers (those with whom we have developed a relationship of trust) to ask, “How are you feeling about this? What are your thoughts? Has something like this happened to you or others you know in the past? When something like this happens, how does it affect you at work? Does talking about it help?”

Polite Silence” appears to be the norm when it comes to discussing racial events that are “in the news” within the workplace. Sounds like the OJ Trial all over again, and how long ago was that?

Why should these discussions be occurring at work?

  • Because it says “I care.”
  • Because it says I recognize that it’s important for everyone to be able to bring their ‘whole self’ to work every day.
  • Because it says I want to continue to learn – and while initiating this conversation may be a bit uncomfortable, it’s important. And I understand that as a member of the majority group, I recognize that I have to be the one to initiate the conversation.
  • Because if we can begin to talk about what is happening outside of our workplace, perhaps we will become more comfortable talking about what is happening in our workplace – which is a necessary component of being an “inclusive work environment.” The goal is not to get everyone to agree and see everything the same way – it is simply to have a conversation.

Please share your thoughts and reactions.  The conversation has begun…….

 Patricia C. Pope

CEO, Pope & Associates, Inc.

Connect with Pat on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/patriciacpope

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Marketing with Cultural Consideration in Mind

True or False: Sociologic differences largely outweigh sociologic similarities. Knowing the answer to this question can either boost your profits substantially or significantly decrease your chance at growth. According to author, Ron A. Walsh of Raw Power Writing, the answer is true. Developing a market strategy that takes into consideration the differences in others’ behaviors and cultures is imperative to leveraging your brand and increasing your profit margin.

 

As we move closer to a global economy, cross-cultural marketing is the wave of the future. The internet is bringing the other side of the world closer and closer to us as more than 85% of internet users turn to the internet to purchase goods and services (2011 Nielsen Survery). Corporations and organizations need to acknowledge local and national cultures as well as political and business cultures if they are to appeal to the global market.

What are the Benefits of Embracing Cultural Considerations?

In her travels around the world, Graciela Meibar of Mattel Inc. and Insight Into Diversity, learned a valuable tip: “…we each see the world and interact with other people differently based upon our unique mindsets, traditions, and customs. This creates both the opportunity and the challenge regarding our global diversity as we get our work done through both personal and business relationships.” Organizations that acknowledge and show sensitivity toward a diverse consumer base benefit from the following:

  • Products can be designed and developed in such a way that is accepted by diverse consumers
  • Packaging messages, product names, consumer preferences and styles of products can be studied to avoid making inappropriate assumptions
  • New brands can be created that serve to grow the business in a new and unique market where there has been no previous experience
  • Organizations will recognize that there are different consumer preferences, behaviors, and buying powers and can create a marketing strategy that shows an appreciation and understanding for diversity
  • Employees of High Performing Teams can engage in customer and consumer behavior, laws, regulations, cultural nuances, and share knowledge of acceptable as well as unacceptable protocol

Repercussions of Ignoring Cultural Considerations

In the late ‘70’s and early 80’s, Nestle found itself receiving international criticism when it advertised breast milk replacer to a sector in Africa whose natives lacked reading ability (Welsh, 2005). Infants suffered malnutrition because the caregivers could not read the directions and misused the substitute. Had the marketing team been more informed of the culture of the people, it might have chosen a different method of advertising the dispersion of the product.

 

Professor Ian Mitroff, an organizational theorist and business consultant, best sums up the importance of adapting to cultural consideration. Regarding marketing in today’s diverse environment, Mitroff says, “For all practical purpose, all business today is global. Those individual business, firms, industries and whole societies that clearly understand the new rules of doing business in a world economy will prosper; those that don’t will perish.”

 

Please share your experiences with global marketing. How has your organization targeted its marketing to the diverse consumer population? How have your High Performance Teams adapted to changes in today’s global market?

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Taking Cultural Consideration into Account to Drive Sales and Grow Your Business

“It’s the real thing.” “Things go better with Coke.” “Disfrute Coca-Cola.”  “Jo chaho ho jaye,” “さわやかになるひととき。” “Всегда Coca-Cola.”  The slogans of the soda giant, Coca Cola, are recognized in countries across the world. The fact that Coca-Cola is one of the most widely identified global products and can be found in the Middle East, Australia, Central America, China, Europe, and beyond is no accident.  In 1919, Coca Cola began marketing its product globally, but prior to its distribution, the company sent market researchers all over the world to study its target audience (Bilaras, Coca Cola Marketing Mix 81, 2010).  93 years later, Coca Cola is still recognized as one of the top producing soft drinks in the world.

According to their research, Coca-Cola found that its audience was limitless in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or abilities.  The marketing teams attributed the success and growth of the product to knowing its consumers and the employees abroad (Bilaras 2010).

Knowing Your Market:  Look No Further than the Company Break Room

In an employee workforce as diverse as ours, it makes perfect sense to utilize the cultures within the organization to identify your customer base.  As Coca-Cola discovered, “The similarity between the brand and the consumer leads to a high degree of loyalty and makes the purchasing decision easier” (Bilaras, 2010).  The more a company identifies with the consumer, the larger the level of customer loyalty and the bigger the boost in sales.

Using your employees as a representation of your customer base creates an atmosphere of inclusion, as the employees feel they have something to attribute to the organization.  The diversity that exist in the work place serves as a marketing sample of individuals, and these employees not only represent the general public, but they also represent the consumers.

Using Diversity and Inclusion to Your Advantage

According to Graciela Meibar, Board Member of Insight into Diversity and VP of sales training and global diversity for Mattel, Inc., having an inclusive and diverse mindset within the organization will help create a global company that excels at meeting the needs of its consumers.  “We know that consumers are most loyal to those products and companies that have done this careful research and have incorporated these insights into their products” (Meibar, 2010).

Apparently, a majority of Spanish-dominant adults and a significant number of English-dominant adults agree.  When given the statement, “When I hear a company advertise in Spanish, it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business,” 57% of Spanish-dominant residents and 29% of English-dominant Hispanics agree.   In a 2011 edition of the Hispanic Fact Pact, this same group admits to feeling more loyalty to a company who respects their culture by advertising in Spanish.

Senior executives who embrace diversity and inclusivity have a tremendous competitive advantage.  Building an organization that embraces culture and uses its employees as samples of the population serves as the forefront to becoming an industry leader whose customers remain loyal and share their experiences with others, thereby building your business and profit.

What steps will you take in your organization to use diversity and inclusion as part of your marketing strategy?  Have you ever used your employees as models for your consumer base?  We would love to hear your stories!

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How a Diverse and Inclusive Environment Can Drive Business and Increase Profit

In 1977, the late Merlin G. Pope, Jr. coined the term “diversity” to refer to the changing demographics in the workplace.  He believed that companies who learned to manage the differences that exist between individuals as well as the barriers to inclusion would be able to leverage these differences to maximize productivity.

With today’s workforce made up of different races, religions, genders, abilities, ethnic backgrounds, ages, and lifestyles, companies are challenged to create an atmosphere that both acknowledges and promotes diversity and inclusion.  This challenge not only exists in creating a harmonious working relationship among coworkers, but it also exists in an effort to leverage the highest possible production rate and revenue.  According to Pope and Associates, “The success of every organization is dependent on the culture they intentionally create, and how well they engage each individual to make their maximum contribution.”

Putting Practice into Play

An organization rich in diversity has a tremendous advantage over its competitor.  By utilizing an employee pool rich in diverse backgrounds and experiences, businesses can leverage their power. Companies can develop a better understanding of their customers’ needs and wants since they have a large pool of employees each with his or her own experiences, ideas, backgrounds and personalities.

Having a workforce that is representative of all consumer groups also means that the company has an edge over buying potential.  This group has a range of perspective and insights that must be considered for the success of the product at the right time and place (Graciela Meibar, 2010).

With so many vast and diverse experiences from which to draw, there is also the possibility for an innovative idea or product.  The creation of a product or brand is limited by the possibilities of those collaborating on the project.  The greater the resources, the more potential an organization has to develop a product, idea, or service that is unique to the market.  “The real business opportunity of diversity and inclusion,” says Meibar, VP of Global Sales Training and Global Diversity for Mattel, Inc., “rests more with exploring our differences.  It is our different and varied thoughts, perspectives and ways of thinking that may provide the next innovative and creative idea that becomes our next global success.”

In addition to her role as VP of Mattel Inc., Meibar is also a Board Member of Insight into Diversity, a recruiting magazine promoting equal opportunity employment.    In Meibar’s experiences, the success or failure of a company is directly related to whether or not executives use diversity and inclusion to drive their business.  Executives who are willing to establish a diverse and inclusive working relationship have much to gain.  With the proper training by programs that focus on knowledge, awareness and culture change, companies can leverage their businesses’ resources, revenue, and profitability and build effective relationships that increase innovation and capitalize on improved customer satisfaction.

How has your company used diversity and inclusion to promote a product, brand or service?  How has a diverse and inclusive working environment affected your employees?

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Leveraging the Power of a Diverse and Inclusive Work Environment

The desire to belong has its roots in our childhood. As infants we belonged to a family; as students we belonged to a class and a school, and as adolescents we belonged to sport teams, extracurricular activities, and peer groups whose similarities we shared and whose differences we accepted. As adults, our desire to belong spills over to the workplace, where we feel the need to be part of an organization and to feel that our presence makes a difference. The urge to be accepted for whom we are plays an integral part of our lives; as businesses and organizations move toward a work environment full of diversity, the need to develop and maintain an inclusive atmosphere is crucial to maximizing a competitive edge and increasing productivity.

 

Diversity and Inclusion

Simply put, diversity can be explained as differences that exist among people and tolerance for others with different backgrounds (Tyra Sidberry, Third Sector, N.E., 2012). According to an article written by C.V. Harquail of Authentic Organizations, diversity can be broken down into four categories:

While identified as separate entities, these different types of diversity act dependently upon each other. For example, one’s social category will have an impact upon one’s beliefs and values, judgments and perceptions, and interactions with others.

Inclusion is the practice of ensuring that people feel as if they add value to group or organization. True inclusion takes place when members feel as if they belong and feel welcomed. In a work situation, inclusion encompasses the aspect of feeling as if everyone has an equal value, quality of voice, and the same impact on operations and the achievement of the group’s mission. (Sidberry, 2012)

What are the Benefits of a Diverse and Inclusive Work Environment?

According to a study by Langdon, McMenamin, and Krolik in 2002, the workforce of the 21st century will most likely be characterized by an increase in the number of women, minorities, intergenerational workers, and persons with different lifestyles and ethnic backgrounds. At this point in time, embracing diversity and using it as a tool to drive business and maximize the competitive edge should be the rule as well as the norm. When businesses embrace diversity and inclusion, several positive outcomes can occur.

Join us in our four part series where we will be discussing the benefits of a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Please share your thoughts with us about diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Do you feel a diverse and inclusive work environment is practical? Do you see any drawbacks or advantages to diversity and inclusivity in your organization? Is there anything you would like to know about diversity and or inclusion or how to implement it in the work force?

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In Pursuit of the High Performance Team

On Super Bowl Sunday, the world watched Tom Brady and the New England Patriots lose to Eli Manning and the New York Giants after coming back from a 9-0 deficit and leading 17-9 in the third quarter.  Two field goals and a touchdown later, the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI, leaving Patriot fans, owners, and coaches wondering what went wrong.  Why had this High Performing Team failed, and who would take accountability for the failure?

Take the same situation and move it into the boardroom.  A team of individuals is working on a very important project, but it is falling apart, at the cost of the company’s dollar and the morale of the employees.  The team is not connecting, there are barriers to communication, and only two people are doing all of the work while resentment is building toward the others.  The team is headed for failure, but they’ve been given the opportunity to join Diversity University’s Team Advantage Program where they learn how to operate among filters and build a team who can successfully solve problems, make decisions, and create an environment of ongoing interpersonal and professional development and mutual accountability.

The Impact of Filters

Filters are barriers that blur our perceptions of individuals who are different from us.  When we use filters in the workplace, we bar ourselves from being open to the ability to listen effectively, make decisions, solve problems, and coach and mentor others.  But when we learn to identify and manage our filters, we are able to leverage our similarities and differences and become efficient members of a High Performance Team.

Listening Skills

When we listen to the average speaker, we use only 25% of our mental capacity, according to a study done by the University of Missouri.  That leaves 75% of our brains to process other information, wander, and lose interest in the speaker.  It takes a concentrated effort to be an effective listener to the three types of listening:

  • Critical:  Separating Fact from Opinion
  • Sympathetic:  Listening instead of talking or giving advice or judging
  • Creative:  Keeping an open mind and combining your ideas with others, brainstorming

All three listening skills are important for High Performance Teams to solve problems and make decisions.

Problem Solving and Decision Making within a High Performance Team

An important step in the creation of a High Performance Team is to develop an effective process for dealing with problems.  As individuals we have our own idea of what the problem is or why there is a problem, but as a team we need to employ a solution.

The Five Steps to Solving Group Problems

In a team decision process, all members focus on all the possible solutions to the problem, keeping in mind the criteria set forth ahead of time to evaluate the solutions, and then deciding the best solution as a team.

The Development of Team Members and Accountability

High Performance Teams recognize the interests and achievements of each individual while holding one another accountable for the team’s performance.  Peers, managers, and fellow team members contribute to each other’s emotional or professional development by giving positive input and critique.  At the same time, team members set ground rules and expectations that eliminate excuses and mandate personal accountability.  If any member of the team fails to perform his or her obligations, the team can deal with the situation constructively by exploring the intent and impact of the behavior and then determining alternative behavior.

High Performance Teams are trained to adapt to differences, listen actively, solve problems, make decisions, and hold each other accountable.  This process can only be obtained when every member acknowledges their filters and pledges to monitor and manage them.  The team concept is built upon a group of individuals who is pursuing a similar cause, whether it’s in a business suit in the boardroom or football jersey on the field.  MVP award winner, Eli Manning, sums up High Performance Teams with his thoughts about the Super Bowl: “This isn’t about one person.  This is about a team coming together.”

What filters have you identified as being barriers to having a High Performing Team in your organization?

How do you hold yourself and your colleagues accountable?

 

 

 

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