Managers face growing challenges in the new workplace. Many seek out knowledge and skills that position them to lead effectively by participating in professional development opportunities. Unfortunately, many of the practices they learn do not solve the problems when they return to their team, but in some instances seem to perpetuate them. With growing frustration, the manager and employees attempt the same solutions repeatedly and the problems do not subside. That was Cathleen’s experience as she led her call center team.
Cathleen sought training because of conflict and productivity challenges in her team. Team members were not mutually supportive and struggled to work together. Beyond the negative work environment, individual and team goals were suffering. This in spite of the fact that she had taken several management courses that taught skills which were not working in practice. Cathleen said, “During previous management courses I learned to resolve issues and conflicts as they came. In many situations, this meant to fix the upcoming issues on my own. Team members were not held accountable for their actions.”
When Cathleen met with the J. Clint Anderson Company, she indicated she had tried everything she learned to address the situation, and nothing was working.
J. Clint Anderson, Ph.D. provided coaching based on the Trimergent Leadership® System Leading Teams process, including training in conflict resolution. Her team members also participated in our Being a Team Player course. This approach to team leadership and teamwork does not rely on the 100-year-old practices of scientific management, and is not a revision of its principles base on updated language. The Trimergent Leadership® System has been developed from the ground up over the last decade. It is based on the latest research and understanding of organizations. As a result, it transforms the way people work together.
The coaching included a method of providing feedback that ensures accountability for both a team member’s impact on others and goal achievement. Team members began to take ownership of the solutions that ultimately made a difference in the team. Cathleen was also coached through an evaluation of the goal setting process and made significant changes to her approach. The new approach to setting goals resulted in team member participation that also created ownership.
Cathleen shared, “With the new approach Team members have the opportunity to set their own personal monthly goal. This works perfectly for all members participating in the goal setting. In the past, I gave all Team members their goal during a one on one session. With this new approach, Team members are individually responsible for the overall Team goal. This can be seen as a great success for the entire Call Center”
Cathleen’s new skills and practices, combined with team members’ understanding how to be a team player, made a real difference by the time the coaching process ended. In her last meeting with the coach, Cathleen indicated the entire work environment had improved and the team met its shared goal. Beyond that Cathleen stated, “In February 2012 the Team has met their highest collections goal since the existence of the Call center.” After two years, the skills and practices Cathleen established continue to support a positive team environment and high productivity.