When Team Members Seem “Disobedient”

Why can’t my team members see that my way is the best way to do things?

How do I get my team to do what I ask without question?

Why do I feel like I’m constantly beating my head against the wall?

When working with organizations on tools and techniques to get their team more engaged, I am often asked these questions (above).

The biggest frustration of many team leaders is that command-and-control is simply not working anymore (darn it)!

They might not say it that way because no one likes to think their leadership style is controlling. Nevertheless, if you’re in a leadership position you most likely earned it through being an exceptional “doer” and it’s difficult to be patient with those who do not have your work ethic or approach.

So what’s a leader to do?

You’re not going to like my answer:

Let go of your ego!

Open your mind up to solutions you don’t come up with. Give your team members leeway to solve problems and encourage them to do so. How do you encourage? If a team member comes up with an approach and you know a better way to do it – DON’T OFFER IT. Unless you can prove that their way won’t work, let them run with it. Yes, your way may be faster or more efficient but, if you think about it, that’s probably only true if you’re the one doing the work. If the methodology is not their idea, it might actually take them longer due to their lack of enthusiasm for it

Most “disobedient” team members are merely asserting their own ideas. Imagine how boring your job would be if, instead of using your creativity to produce results, you had to follow your team leader’s precise directions without question. Is that what it’s like for your team? If the answer is yes, even some of the time, there is work to be done.

When you start letting team members come up with how to do their work, productivity will increase and quality will improve.

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