Hey there folks! Today we’re going to see if we get our teams away from combativeness to working in collaboration, and trust me when we say it can make a world of difference in the workplace!
Have you ever been in a workplace where team members just can’t seem to get along? I bet many of us have been in that not-so-fun world of combativeness.
We all have this natural tendency to go into competitive mode, but if we want to nurture collaboration, we’ve got to switch gears. Discover the secrets to effective communication that can turn your team into a well-oiled collaboration machine, instead of a battlefield.
The Role of Leadership is like a magic wand that can transform team dynamics. Leaders should show qualities like empathy, transparency, and a knack for building a harmonious and productive work environment.
Get ready to take some notes while we discuss these strategies and steps!
So, hang tight as we unlock the keys to go from combativeness to collaboration which is the superhero that swoops in, fosters innovation, opens up lines of communication, and creates an all-around positive work vibe. It’s going to be an eye-opening and transformative journey, and we’re thrilled to have you along for the ride!
Grace and peace,
Chris LoCurto 0:00
On today's episode, we are diving into the world of team dynamics and leadership. We'll be exploring the journey from combativeness to collaboration within teams that is coming up next.
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks, I hope you're having a fabulous day wherever you are. Today we are talking about the topic of leading teams from combativeness to collaboration. So let me kind of set the stage give an overview of what this looks like. Now, we all know it, it doesn't take much, it doesn't take a lot of imagination. I know you've all probably experienced this. But we we need to really recognize how much combativeness can lead to tension, how it can lead to incredible communication breakdowns, how when we have folks that are struggling, that they're not collaborating, when they're when they are combative, when they are
going at each other, when they're struggling with each other.
Here's what I want you to understand as a leader, you are getting at the very best 50% of those team members, and their work productivity. Why? Because think about this, who wants to be in a combative state. Now, there are some people who actually do want to be in a combative state, and they thrive on that. But that's not what we want inside of our teams. And the crazy thing is, most people don't want to be in that state on our teams. Many times they feel like they have to be, or many times because of lack of understanding and communication, lack of understanding people personality styles, we end up in this place where we have this conflict, where we feel like we have to be in some sort of competition, right? That we have to combat other people's desires or, or feel like their priorities are more important than ours are, our priorities have to be better than you, you get the idea. You understand the concept. Collaboration, on the other hand, actually promotes innovation, it actually helps by creating open communication. And there's no doubt whenever we find that we are collaborating as a team, or even just a couple of people, that we have a much more positive work atmosphere. Now, hopefully, you've experienced that, hopefully, you've got that in your culture right now. But if you don't, then I'm telling you, this is something to strive for. Because the more collaboration you have, believe it or not, the less expense you have on team members. About just talking about that, from the payroll side, I literally mean that the more collaboration you have, the more productivity you have from team members. Because team members aren't stuck in this place of feeling like they've got to, you know, hide from somebody else or not want to get into conversations or not want to work with somebody on a on a project or something that's going on, because they know that the moment that they do, they're just going to run into this brick wall. Right.
So the goal is, is we want to create collaboration inside of our workplace inside of our teams, so that we can create a much more positive atmosphere, and we can get a heck of a lot more productivity out of our team members. Now, what do we do to adapt our communication? How do we get to a place of kind of understanding this? So we've got to understand that quite often, people default to a competitive mindset. Quite often, especially in the workplace, what we find is, is that people don't naturally lean in the direction of collaboration. Now, there's plenty of people that do, there's plenty of people that are you know, depending upon your personality style, sometimes we will find that somebody is going to be more collaborative than others. But I can tell you in my decades of leading leaders and working with business entrepreneurs, and you know, all this type of stuff, one of the things that I have seen over and over and over again, is individuals desires to focus only on themselves. I know shot Getting surprising people can be selfish and self centered. But what I'm talking about is people inside of the same teams, leaders instead of the same businesses that get this competitive mindset, like it's all about them their role their team winning. It is this mindset, that crazy enough, it's like control, right? It's an illusion. What are you actually winning? When you're being competitive with somebody else? Who's just doing their own thing? Where's the competition here, right? So what we need to understand about this competitive mindset is quite often, it creates one of the worst things inside of any business. And that is what we call silos. Or even some people might even refer to them as islands. People who are so focused on only their area or their role, or leaders, you take a leadership team, we see this a lot with brand new teams coming in to strat plan, that there's a lot of silos on a leadership team, that there are people who are really focused about just make my area work, don't get, you know, in trouble, don't get caught up in somebody else's stuff. Keep your head down, bust out your own thing. Why is that such a problem? Because of multiple reasons. When ever you create silos from this competitive mindset, inside of your team or inside of your business, you've just lost a lot of your resources. What do I mean by that? Well, we call it the shotgun approach. When you have multiple people, focusing only on their areas than their areas, the only thing that matters.
So what does that mean about the destination that we're trying to hit? We're not all working in a unified direction. We're not all working together under a common goal, to solve the company's vision. Instead, every single silo has its own vision, as its own destination, is only worried about itself isn't concerned about the success of other areas, unless those areas affect them. And then it's really you need to fix you so that I can do my thing, right? This is what happens with a competitive mindset. You can see it within it doesn't even have to be a complete team, or a team leader can just be individuals. There's many times I've had people in my early years of leading, I can think of two people that I hired that I to this day, decades later, still regret because of how focused on themselves they were, and how destructive they were to the rest of the team. And how much they impact the rest of the team. Their competitive mindset, their their self focus, created this process that created a combativeness among the team, where other team members didn't want to work with them, didn't want to have to do anything with them didn't want to be on the same projects, didn't want to support them. Right. They didn't want to work with other folks, they just wanted to get their thing done and try and use other people to, you know, do their work for them so that they can accomplish the things that they were trying to accomplish. As I discovered those things, it was something that I needed to squash immediately and focus heavily on nurturing a collaboration between the everybody on the team, those folks and these are two different individuals at slightly different times actually kind of overlapped actually, in helping them to really focus on what does it look like to collaborate with other personality styles, other people in, you know, other areas of the team are other people with other strengths on the team. By nurturing that collaboration, I had to help these folks, all of them, everybody involved. The two silos, the two islands plus all the other team members that didn't operate like they did. I had to help everybody to see that. It required a different approach. That what they were currently doing wasn't working out. That what they needed to do was start to take a look at what is our team focus? What should the team dynamic look like? What is the vision that we're trying to accomplish? How does every role accomplish that vision? And what does it look like to work together?
So for me and for you as a leader, you play a very crucial role in transforming the team dynamics. You have to foster collaboration. Now, I will tell you, in the very beginning, many of my team members wanted me to just fire these guys. There's like, just get rid of them. They suck. We don't want to work with a. And instead, what I needed to do, because I had taken on these team members, and somehow I missed in that interview process, that they were going to be islands, you can't interview everything out. But that gave me a whole lot of understanding for the next few decades of interviewing and hiring people. What I had to do was work on how do we work together? How do I get out of the competitive, combative team members, this thing that they keep doing, which is only focusing on themselves and using other people to try and accomplish their goals? And how do I get out of the other team members this, you know, break down the brick walls of there's no way I'm working with that person, I'm not going to do anything for him, because I don't care about him, how do I help them come together and work together. So as a leader, you have to understand, this is your job. At the end of the day, everybody still did their roles well. But if they only focused on their roles individually, then I wasn't accomplishing and the team wasn't accomplishing the vision for the team, the destination for the team. So I had to come alongside and help the islands recognize they aren't going to have a job long if they decide that they don't need anybody else. And you know, their agenda is the only important agenda and not following the team agendas, the things that we're trying to accomplish. And I had to help the other team members recognize that we still needed these other folks on the team, if they were willing to collaborate. So part of what I had to do was go through and have some very tough conversations with people to say, Listen, you work for me, you don't work for yourself. You I hired you to help us accomplish this goal, this vision, this destination or these destinations, I hired you to come onto this team, and be a part of what we are trying to accomplish.
So if you can become a Wi Fi, instead of just a u, then guess what you get to stay here had to have some of those tough conversations, I also had to have conversations of other folks going, Hey, listen, we need to have a little bit of grace, we need to lean in their direction, it doesn't mean that you allow them to be controlling or abusive or manipulative or any of that stuff. But instead recognize this is going to be a process. This is going to take us a while to get to collaboration, we would have team meetings, where we would talk through in the meetings struggles that we experienced, yes, there was some conflict on there. Yes, this was difficult for some folks. But it allowed us as a team, to work through the struggles that we were experiencing. And the more that we pressed through these difficulties, right, because what happened is, is we didn't just have anybody just pop up and go, I'm out. I want to be gone. Everybody wanted to be there. Everybody wanted to continue on. They just didn't know how to. So it became my job to make sure that I set up the opportunities for them to grow. And the more that we did this, it took a while I will tell you in in the early phases, one of the islands silos, if you will, moved in the direction of collaboration pretty quickly because he realized, if I don't do this, I'm probably not going to have a job and these people aren't going to help me be successful. The other one took a little bit longer. They made they made strides, they would go back a little bit. But eventually what happened is is they recognized if they cared about the other people, then those people were there to support them. The more we came together, the more we collaborated, an interesting thing happened. Not only were we all on the same page and moving in the same direction, but all of a sudden, because people felt like they cared about each other people felt like there wasn't this combativeness. There wasn't this competition there. There weren't silos anymore. Something interesting started to happen. They became more innovative. They decided that they could trust each other and instead of just doing the job, they started working on how do we do the job better now? This did not happen overnight. Please under then you're not going to get your team from combativeness to collaboration overnight. This took months of making this happen. And for some of you out there, you're like out to just fired people. Well, okay, well, that's probably not your best leadership style, right? Just firing people. Because we worked on this, it turned the team around to where they started working together to solve things together. They had much better relationships, it was an in, you know, way better, positive working relationship and environment. I mean, I can't tell you how much it changed the tone. But it took a lot of work and effort to make that happen. The great thing is, is by the team working together, we were able to grow some of our products and services leaps and bounds. What it took was helping team members understand the importance of collaboration, helping team members understand how they're different, how they see each other differently, how they operate differently, helping team members understand that other team members matter. And one of the biggest pieces that I had to really push over and over and over again, is nobody on this team is more important than anybody else. Instead, what you have to understand is, without the other team members, your role doesn't exist. You're not needed.
So if you believe that you're the most important person, then try and do your job without anybody else. It see what happens. And believe it or not, over time, they came to understand crap, I better really get in line. Because these are the folks that are helping me to be successful. And if I don't treat them, well, then what's going to happen with my role, it's going to make my role 10 times more difficult. So it's a process, it can be very painful, it can take a very long time, understand all those aspects. But at the end of the day, as you create and foster a team of collaboration, you're going to be absolutely blown away by how much more productivity you get. Now, let me bump it back up to the team leaders. For those of you that have a leadership team, and you have a group of leaders that may be silos, they may not be against each other, they may just be focused on only doing what they think is necessary for them to be successful. Here's the problem. They are one of the resources in your business. So if you've got five team members, you know, leaders that are leading five teams, you've got five different resources. And if they're all only focused on taking care of their area, then how in the world? Are you utilizing your resources to the best of your ability? How in the world? are you pointing five silos in the same direction, you're not? The goal is you have to bring them together and foster an open communication, a vulnerability and ability to care about other people and ability to step in and help other leaders and other areas in their teams. So that we accomplish the same goals. How does every one of those teams align with the strat plan with the with the the strategy, the destination of where we're headed? How does every one of those teams help us to accomplish our strategy to get to our destination siloed they're going at, at different ways, five different ways. Together, operating as a phenomenal leadership team, operating as a leadership team that collaborates together, then we are moving in the same direction and understanding that I have to help everybody else around be successful just as much as I need to help me. And if we take on these, these tasks, these goals, these problems, these opportunities together. Now we're really utilizing the brain power, the brain trust of all of these leaders. Now we're really accomplishing things. That collaboration will blow you away as far as what you can do as a business. We we just live that way here. That's just the way that we think the way that we operate is together. We realize that everybody on the team is smart. Everybody has input. Everybody's here to help everybody else out. Everybody serves each other. Everybody knows there's one thing that does not fly around here and that's the saying, well, that's not my job.
We jump in, we do this together, we move in the same direction. If we have silos, which we just don't, but if we were to have silos, we would crush that in a heartbeat, get your butt back on track, get in here, work together, help each other solve problems, solve issues, solve opportunities, solve growth. Let's get to that next destination together. Now, what are some team building exercises that you can do, I just encourage you, there's all kinds of you can go on the Google, you can go online and look up all types of team building opportunities, the things that we like to do, many times is to do like games or things that require nobody to have a title. And then watch how people step into specific roles. And then have big discussions afterwards about now why did you do this and why? Now I noticed you stepped up and lead this now, I noticed you didn't do anything over here. And we really liked to take activities like, you know, I don't know something ridiculous, hey, build the tallest building out of, you know, 100, straws and 100, you know, pins, or whatever, do this thing. But you don't give them a title there. Nobody has a role. Here's the thing, here's the time limit, you guys have to work on this together, you have to decide, you know, give them some parameters, you have to decide what type of building it is you have to decide, you know, what's the, I don't know, the maximum width, it can be whatever, but we're looking for height, you could decide that it has to have like something on top of it, you know, put a specific structure on but whatever it is, and then allow them to work together to see which direction people go, which people jump in and lead which people sit back and don't do anything. You know, how did the ideas flow? How did the communication flow? And then you debrief the daylights out of it. Now, again, there's all kinds of team building exercises that you can do. We do them every retreat with all the business owners and leaders that come into our retreats. Here in Tennessee, we will have them go through team building exercises, so that they can see what is it like to work with other folks that I'm not working with? Normally, you know, these are all different leaders from around the country. You know, what does it like to work in the situation? What are the different personality styles? How did they respond? And then we debrief with all kinds of questions. What was that experience? Like? What did you take away from this? What do you feel like you could have done better? What was it like when somebody did take a leadership role? Did anybody's you know, not step up and do what they should have done or participated? How did you guys decide on how tall this was going to be or what the shape was, or the way that you put these straws together? As we walk through those pieces, what tends to happen is, as people start to recognize what it's like to work with a team, in a collaborative style or in a combative style, depending upon how well they did, and we can start to translate that in. What does that look like when we are doing X project here? What does that look like when you know pick a project that people are currently working on? So if we apply this to this project that you guys are supposed to get done in the next three weeks? How can we do that better? How can we be more productive? How can we utilize our resources better? And that allows you to ask a ton of questions, driving them to conclusions on what collaboration looks like, obviously, you fill in the gaps, you fill in the different pieces and go, this is what we're looking for here. This is great, this is great. These are things we don't want all that type of information, helping them to understand how much better works being collaborative now, you can also redo the project with them. Now that we've walked through this, and we've experienced that, what if it's a colossal failure? You know, what if they didn't do good at all that you know, what if it just really sucked? Great. Now that we've talked through this, and we've learned these things, let's do it again. Here's your pins. Here's your straws. Go at it. You know, how do you how do you How could you make this better? Utilize the things that you've learned. And let's get in there and build this again. So Chris, this is all great. This is all fine and well. But what if my team just doesn't trust each other? That is a big massive point of collaboration, right? So your job as a leader is to foster and nurture trust within your team or your teams. How do we do this? It starts by helping people recognize Is that they can be vulnerable. I need to know before I'm ever vulnerable with you, I need to know that I can trust you with my vulnerability. How do I do that? Well, usually you share some level of vulnerability that helps me to know that I can trust you.
So what we may have to do is have conversations with the teams about what is it like to be vulnerable? And what does it look like to not take advantage of that and not lose that trust? The more you help people to recognize that they can be vulnerable with each other, that they can trust people with their vulnerability, the more they will want to collaborate together, the more that they will trust that somebody's not going to treat them badly, or throw them under the bus or rip their head off. Right. So this is a very active piece for you. This may be conversation after conversation after conversation, it may be you going to some of the people that people may not trust the most. Say, Hey, listen, let's talk about what it means to earn the trust of your team members. What does it look like for you to share some vulnerability so that they can receive you as somebody they can trust? Right? So this is something that you've got to foster within the teams, if you can do this, and people can start having quality discussions, or, you know, maybe on the backside of trust being broken, you break down what happened, and help those two to overcome, to fix that conflict, to get the, you know, the offending party, to recognize that they broke somebody's trust and to take responsibility and to apologize for it. And to work really hard to regain that trust. Yes, leader. I know, it seems like man, I just don't want to have to do all that, I get it. But when you do, and you're successful at it, what you will discover is that your team members will operate differently, they will collaborate more, you will have much more innovation, you will have much more productivity, you have a much more positive work environment.
So listen, we've talked about this. And the big aspects here are personality styles. What we need to recognize is that working with different personality styles can be conflict, not understanding personality styles can be conflict, not recognizing why somebody seems to be competitive, or combative, obviously, is going to be conflict. Here's what I want you to do, I want you to get into our store, ChrisLoCurto.com/store. And get discs values, the things that you need to really increase your communication to high levels of quality communication. Communication, or the lack of communication is the number one reason why businesses fail. It is the number one thing we see with every business coming into our programs. It's the number one struggle that they have. It's the number one issue. By far, communication is the number one issue. So when people implement disc values, we have the personality styles video, that's a lesson that you sit down with your whole team and watch through this and learn together people love it. It is amazing how many times we've heard people talk about how they're elbowing each other, because they're like, Yep, he's talking about you right there. You know, nobody's talking about you about how much it helps them to come together and understand each other, and how much more it helps those who have misunderstood other folks to get to a place of recognizing, oh, this isn't something that's wrong with you, you're just different than I am. And I need to lean in your direction. So make sure if you have not gotten disk at the bare minimum disk into your business, get it done. I'm going to tell you, you should do the disk plus, which has the values as well helps you to understand what motivates team members. Definitely get the personality styles video, sit down with your team, watch through this process, and then discuss it, you will start to see collaboration grow immensely. Because people will start to recognize the thing that's been holding them back, which is understanding other folks.
So at the end of the day, what do we want to do? We don't want to just go fire people. We don't want to just get rid of people because we're finding some combativeness or some competitiveness. Instead what we want to do is we want to help people to understand and that they need each other. We want to help people understand how other people think how they act, react, how they give information, how they receive information, we want to help people to understand that the more we collaborate, the more we work together leaning in each other's direction, the more I can accomplish the thing that I'm tasked to do, and the more we actually had an a unified direction, the more we all win. Everybody wins when we are moving in a unified direction. Well, folks, we would love to hear from you. We want to know, you know your experiences in situations like this. We want to know your insights. We want to know your questions. So do us a favor, send us an email at podcast at ChrisLoCurto.com. That's podcast at ChrisLoCurto.com. Give us your insights. Tell us what you've experienced. Tell us how you've solved things like this. Ask us questions we want to hear from you. Well, that's all the time that we have for today. I hope this information has helped you I'm an insulin. As always take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life. And join us on the next episode.