"Thank you for the amazing team-building seminar. Your approach allowed us to be playful, yet work together as a team on common goals and challenges. It was amazing to watch the positive change that came over individuals throughout the day and how empowered everyone felt by the end. The comprehensive program and expert guidance provided by KLR will make our company better equipped to weather the difficult economic storm facing us."
Mistie Cohen, President
Eye Spy Critiquing & Consulting
Teams that hold each other accountable are more productive & successful.
Commitment from team members is one of the building blocks of effective teams.
Plan for your best year - tips and strategies to make the most of your year.
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(posted: November 3rd, 2012)
This is the third in a series of blog posts in which we will talk about various facets of fear, how it impacts the workplace, and how (and why) we as leaders can change fear into trust.
On the surface this topic sounds like it belongs in an advice to the lovelorn column, but fear of commitment affects our workplaces as well as our personal lives.
Overcoming fear of commitment by creating trust in the workplace
There are the obvious commitments that you think of when you think of work: Projects, meetings, deadlines, daily goals, and more.
Then there is a different kind of commitment - Emotion-based commitment. It's the commitment we make (or don't) to co-workers, ideals, leaders, and, ultimately, the organization.
While we may not fear obligatory commitment to our daily duties, we all too often fear commitment to people, even in our work lives.
"...It's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal--a commitment to excellence--that will enable you to attain the success you seek"
Mario Andretti, world champion racing driver
We may fear:
In all situations, people commit with their hearts at least as much as with their minds.
At the root of it, we are afraid to trust.
We know that when employees feel that their input isn't valued, their ideas are not considered and their opinion is not solicited, they don't trust their leaders or their co-workers.
From Patrick Lencioni's "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team":
Team members with an absence of trust
It's no wonder we fear commitment to people when trust is lacking!
It is nearly impossible to see people as a worthwhile commitment when we don't really see them at all.
When we dig down, we see that the fear of commitment, based on a lack of trust, prevents employees from engaging - with each other, with the work they are doing, and with the company. When teams are disengaged we get low productivity and high turnover, among other things, and ultimately, profits suffer.
"Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
Vince Lombardi, American football coach
As leaders we need to create an environment of trust, where all employees feel heard and valued.(For more, read my blog post on trust.)
First, take a look at your own actions.
The process starts with you. When you can answer YES to the above questions, you are building trust, and you can't help but increase your employees' level of commitment.
Next, think about these questions, related to your teams:
"Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer."
Marcia Wieder, founder and CEO, Dream University
Finally, some questions to ask in evaluating whether or not your team has developed a high level of commitment.
Evaluating where your team stands in terms of these questions should give you an idea as to whether or not you are succeeding at committing to cohesion, teamwork, and valuing individuals in your workplace.
Stay tuned for the fourth post in our series on Fear and its impact in the workplace.
Part III - Fear of Commitment