You know when you are part of a great team. Workdays are fulfilling, despite the challenges and the thought of jumping ship is very unappealing.
We say this from a position of experience. Being in this industry you would expect us to practice what we preach, and honestly we do. Of course, there are ups and downs, highs and lows. But when it comes to the crunch, we are here for each other. We are colleagues for sure, but over the years our workplace relationships have evolved beyond coworker status. Some of us were around during the aftermath of the 2008/9 economic crisis. It’s this depth of experience and optimism that has enabled this team to weather the pandemic storm, pull together and make it work.
It’s been difficult at times but our team spirit, based on trust, communication and motivation enables us to avoid unnecessary conflict and become even stronger than before.
So how do we do it?
Manage conflict with self-awareness and self-regulation
This comes down to self-awareness, self-regulation and having regard for others. We’re all well matched to our roles to begin with – no square pegs in round holes here. That means that we all work within the parameters of what is right or comfortable for our personality traits. Sometimes we have to stretch beyond what is comfortable to meet business objectives, but this can only ever be temporary if we are to prevent burnout or its ugly sibling boreout.
So we start from a good place. On top of this we strive to be aware of what/how we say/do/present ourselves. Disclosure: we were helped hugely on this by eqflow® team assessment and training. eqflow® gave us the language to understand, evaluate and articulate our emotional intelligence. We have a culture where anyone in the team feels able to say “it makes me feel … when you…” in order to address issues without personal conflict or animosity.
With that awareness, we have a choice in how we respond to our triggers. It’s no good starting with “so-and-so made me lash out/fly off the handle/hide from confrontation”, whatever the default reaction may be. Other people are responsible for their actions, but we are solely responsible for our responses. Of course, it’s not always possible to be perfect. Sometimes we might overreact or overuse our superpowers (for example assertiveness or self-confidence) but we should aim to recognise when we do, and adjust/address appropriately.
Our self regulation is centred on our regard for others. At Holst, we respect that we all work differently, at different paces and using our different strengths. Sometimes, when under pressure, it’s tempting to snap, but our underlying respect and regard for each other triggers relationship-saving self-regulation.
We sound pretty perfect don’t we? It’s been a challenge over the past couple of years especially as we went from being 80% office-based, to 100% home-based and now ‘somewhere in the middle’ hybrid (subject to the restrictions of the day). The key to this success and stability lies in communication and team motivation.
Team communication and motivation
We all differ in what motivates us. But underpinning team motivation is communication. This relies on sound self-awareness and regulation skills.
Motivated teams are collaborative. They might not chat about their weekends, but they do communicate appropriately about the tasks at hand. Team members enjoy working with each other, often because the communication is effective. And, there is a shared sense of belonging – an ‘in it together’ organisational culture. It’s important to regularly recognise successful performance to strengthen relationships and create a positive environment. This encourages everyone to bring their A-game even if they are not in contract-winning or fee-earning roles.
How leaders communicate with each other and the teams is critical. It sets the tone for how everyone in the organisation behaves. If leaders exhibit an aggressive or dismissive communication style, that is likely to be replicated through the levels. We can certainly teach technical communication skills to improve verbal and written communication with excellent workshops which fit into any development programme. However, this should go hand-in-hand with developing emotional intelligence, resilience and motivation skills to successfully use these techniques. The ability to be self-aware and self-regulate helps individuals to ‘read the room’ in that controversial presentation, greater resilience empowers you to deliver messages with authority, control the situation and make a positive impact.
Conflict isn’t always bad. It can spark debate and innovation. It flags up gaps in processes and shines a light on necessary improvements. But unmanaged conflict causes division, saps morale and breaks down important workplace relationships. Help your leaders and teams to manage conflict, improve how they communicate and boost their motivation.
Use flowprofiler®, McQuaig and The Connect Series to better manage conflict and improve communication and motivation skills
flowprofiler® team training and facilitated sessions help your teams and leaders to develop their emotional intelligence, motivation and resilience skills to strengthen workplace relationships and avoid negative conflict. Read more about flowprofiler® for teams in the Waterfield Case Study.
The Connect Series from Holst is a collection of communication workshops which provide the technical skills and techniques to fine tune communication throughout your organisation.
Contact us today to find out how Holst’s development programmes can enable you to build an effective development strategy that will help your teams manage conflict, improve communication and motivate each other.
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motivationflow® and associated marks are registered trademarks of Chalmers International Limited | All rights reserved