If you ever feel like you’re herding cats based on missed due dates, employees failing to take needed responsibility or expected results going undelivered, an important question to ask is “Why am I herding cats?” There is only one logical reason…because you allow the cats to run wild!
There’s nothing wrong with creating order out of chaos. Most people, even the creative ones, function much better with some semblance of order in the workplace. So, if you have independent felines who are slow to respond, chronically late, unprepared for meetings, lack follow through and are focused on their own needs versus the good of the team, you can bet it’s also affecting other team members.
Here are 5 steps for creating order out of chaos:
1. List your behavioral expectations and hot buttons
2. Call your team together and share your expectations
3. Facilitate the development of guidelines for how the team will work together
4. Jointly determine how to self-monitor and share feedback
5. Regularly discuss how the guidelines are working for the team
When the team develops guidelines for how they will work together, here are a few pointers to help with the process. Have them include ways to: a) enhance teamwork, b) communicate effectively, c) manage conflict, d) strengthen relationships and trust, e) hold meaningful and productive meetings, and f) support team and organizational success.
There are many benefits to establishing and implementing team guidelines. Not only does the process set standards for team interaction and behavior, it allows them to set the example for all employees to follow. In addition, because the team members collectively reach agreement on the guidelines, the guidelines become the “boss”, keeping personalities out of the equation.
Sound too good to be true? When effectively implemented it minimizes personal conflicts, saves valuable time, and helps build high-performing teams.