When Teams and Leadership Do Not See the Same – Part 2

What To Do When Teams and Leadership Do Not See the Same Issues as Most Pressing and Pertinent

when teams and leadership do not see the the same issues as most pressing and pertinent leadership must take responsibility to deal with the different perceptions

In the previous post (part 1), I wrote about what leadership should do when the team and leadership do not see the same issues as pertinent or most pressing. It is easy for teams to end up feeling the victims of leaders’ decisions if the leaders are not careful in how they manage the different views.

While leadership has responsibility to ensure that there is forward movement, the team also has a role that must not be ignored. In this post, we look at few things that the team must do.

 Like leadership, the team must take some responsibility. Here are some suggestions:

The Leader

Teams must embrace that the buck stops with leadership. When strategies or initiatives fail, picking up the pieces starts with leadership. I am not saying that teams are not involved in whatever turnaround, but leadership has a greater responsibility in ensuring that solutions are manifest.

While teams can be involved in the decision making process they must remember that it is ultimately leadership’s responsibility to make certain decisions.The team being a part of the ‘decision making process’ is overrated at times. The team must own decisions even if they are not actively involved in the decision making process.

When the team and leadership do not agree on what the pertinent and most pressing issues are, the team can raise concerns and views in a constructive way, but own and act on decisions as if they were their own. Team, let leadership lead.

Agree, Really?

It is rare for everyone in an entire enterprise to agree on every course of action. When everyone on the team always shares the same thinking in everything it means someone is not thinking. A different perspective is not synonymous with division.

When the team and leadership do not see the same issues as most pressing and leadership makes a call that the team does not agree with, the team must learn to embrace the decision as their own. Success for decisions that leadership makes is ultimately everyone’s success.

Unity

When teams and leadership do not see the same issues as pertinent and most pressing, teams must be careful not to create a rift between them and leadership. Doing so is counterproductive. If perpetuated, the “us and them” syndrome destroys unity, sabotages the mission and ultimately the organization and valuable, productive energy is lost.

Choose to fight battles that will benefit the enterprise not your ego. When it comes down to it choose unity and rally behind leadership.

Question: What are some of the worst or best ways you think teams can handle situations of differing perspectives with their leadership?

Related Posts:

When Teams and Leadership Do Not See the Same – Part 1

What Having Different Perspectives In A Team Means

[illustration by Sasquatchcc]

When Teams and Leadership Do Not See the Same – Part 1

Often tension arises when teams and leadership do not see the same issues as pertinent & most pressing. Both the leader and the team have responsibilities to bring their perspectives to the table and to reach a consensus on the way forward.

When teams and leadership do not see the same issues, there is possibility for division. We need to approach this from both the team and leadership perspective. Let us start with leadership…

Without falling into the trap of chasing every rabbit, the leader cannot afford to ignore the issues that the team sees as obstacles to deliver what they should. He can either do this by making team realize that the issues they see as obstacles are not the main issues.

What To Do When Teams and Leadership Do Not See the Same Issues as Most Pressing and Pertinent

In addition, for the sake of the bigger picture the leader must deal with those things in the way so that his team can focus on what matters. A key part of leadership is addressing issues that get in the way of the team, negatively affecting the mission of the enterprise. Many leaders fail because they just bulldoze “their issues” to the fore.

This can be frustrating to the team. Leaders can fail to get buy in from their team by not first ‘buying in’ to deal with the perceived challenges of their teams.

Before you discredit the perceived obstacles of your team, from their perspectives, have you really listened to them? Have you looked into their validity and implications to the team and your enterprise?

Have you taken any tangible steps to address them? Have your actions given your team substantial confidence that you are addressing the issues they have raise, to enable them to pursue the mandate you may be about to give them?

Some issues might not actually be worth much attention in the greater scheme of things. However, how leadership handles them communicates a lot to the team. Brushing off perceived challenges by your team can have detrimental effects on fulfilling mission and subsequently on the enterprise.

When leadership and teams do not share the same perspective, leadership still has a responsibility to create a platform to listen. Leadership does not always know it all and must not find it a threat to admit ignorance. This can help build trust and confidence of the team.

Leader, whatever you do, deal with the teams’ perceived challenges in a way that will enable them to focus on what they need to. Failure to handle these instances can build issues onto other issues, resulting in a blur of what the challenges are. Instances of different perspectives can be both divisive and uniting based on how leadership handles them.

Question: What are some of the worst or best ways you think leadership can handle situations of differing perspectives with their teams?

illustration by Sasquatch I, (cc)