Full Commitment Equals High Performance
A high-performing team is critical because we live in a world where the margins between winning and losing are small. With economic uncertainty and hybrid working, it is critical that you have fully committed teams. Your team needs to be confident in making team decisions. Thereafter, your team needs to give those decisions full support as they work hard to achieve collective results.
There is a vast difference between a team with members who are fully committed to the mission and a team whose members are just compliant. A lack of commitment can manifest in observable behaviours.
Signs of a team with low commitment
- Individuals half-heartedly go along with decisions
- Team members drag their heels and don’t work as hard to achieve the goals
- Deadlines are missed
- Lack of alignment with the team goals
- Negative whisperings and complaints to other team members. This includes sayings such as ‘This won’t work’ further leading to decreased motivation, morale and low commitment from others
It’s clear then that we need to work towards achieving greater team commitment. This requires two things: clarity and buy-in.
Clarity is when everyone on the team knows exactly what it is that they are committing to. Leaders will make sure that everyone is on the same page and has all the information needed to move forward.
Buy-in is about getting behind the team’s decision even if you disagree with it. With the proper opportunity to speak up, one can challenge the decision and put forward their ideas.
At a certain point, it’ll be easier to accept the collective decision. Buy-in is about setting aside any mental reservations to support the team’s decision.
So what would commitment actually look like on a team?
Signs of a committed team
- All team members are clear about the vision and what the main priorities are.
- Teams end discussions and meetings with clear and specific resolutions and calls to action.
- Teams leave meetings confident that everyone is committed to decisions that were agreed upon.
- Everyone supports the group decision, even those who initially disagreed
From experience, people are likely to buy into a decision if they’ve been included in the decision-making process. The only barrier that can cause a lack of commitment is the desire for consensus.
This means everyone needs to agree with an idea before the team can move forward. This can, however, lead to delay and subpar decision-making.
Dealing with disagreements in a team
You might be thinking, how can we possibly go ahead with a decision if not everyone in the room agrees? In truth, it’s rare that absolutely everyone agrees with everything.
In my experience, most people don’t actually need their idea to be adopted. They just need to feel heard and included in the decision-making process.
When teams engage in healthy conflict, they are more likely to go with the majority view. Engaging and listening helps team members feel heard, leading them to take on board collective decisions.
Healthy conflict is the second behaviour in the 5 Behaviours of a Cohesive Team model and is essential to achieving commitment. Through productive conflict, teams ensure that all opinions and ideas are put on the table and considered.
This healthy debate gives people a chance to ask questions, to challenge and understand the rationale behind a decision. It’ll award confidence to team members that no stone has been left unturned. Well-balanced conflict leads to greater commitment and genuine buy-in around important decisions, even when various members of the team initially disagree.
When you achieve commitment teams can move forward with confidence in their decisions, secure in the knowledge that everyone is working towards the same goal.
Published: Wednesday 20 July 2022
Written by: Anna Hemmings, OLY, MBE, High Performance and Leadership Coach