Rock in New Year with Team Goals

Posted by Kristin Arnold on December 31, 2009

The whole notion of a “New Year” forces us to reflect on the past year and contemplate the future.  We wistfully sing “Auld Lang Syne” as we herald in the new year.  Most of us optimistically make resolutions to improve our circumstances.

Take a moment over the next week to contemplate your team’s work.  What worked well for you and for your team this year?  What do you want to do differently or “upgrade” for next year?

As Jim Blasingame, the Small Business Advocate says, “Write this on a rock.”  Make a commitment to your team to:

Be Timely.  Start your meetings on time and end on time.  Your teammates are depending on you, so resolve to finish your work assignments in a timely manner.

Share Airtime.  The currency of team work is airtime.  In order for your ideas to be heard, others must provide a space to share the ideas.  Do you hog too much of the airtime or do you use your “fair” percentage?  Are you too quiet and you aren’t speaking up enough?  Your ideas are just as valuable, and you might not be as quick to voice the idea.  Resolve to share airtime equally by monitoring your own usage and asking others for their opinion.

Respect.  Aretha Franklin had it right.  All your teammates want is a little respect.  Now, you don’t have to love each other, but you do need to respect your other teammates and their contributions.  Resolve to respect your teammates by giving your undivided attention to the person speaking and not interrupting, by recognizing and considering others’ ideas and suggestions, and by supporting and encouraging the team’s work.

Leverage Conflict.  All teams will disagree from time to time.  Conflict is a normal and natural part of the team process.  The key is to manage conflict constructively, looking for areas of agreement and building on the “common ground.”  Resolve to look at disagreements as a gift, working through the issues and building agreements rather than avoiding or escalating the conflict.

Stick By Your Guns.  Once you make a commitment to the team, follow through.  Once your team has agreed on a plan of action, do your part to ensure successful implementation.  Otherwise, your plan is merely “credenzaware.”  Resolve to hold each other accountable to individual and team commitments.

Write these resolutions on a rock…and follow through on your commitments!

Question:  What is your most important resolution involving your team for 2010?

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