Build a Cohesive Leadership Team- Part 3: Achieving Commitment
In our previous blog, Part 2 we touched on the importance of mastering conflict in order to build a cohesive leadership team. The next step that builds upon that is achieving commitment.
People will not fully commit to a decision if they have not contributed their thoughts and understand the rationale behind it.
“If people don’t weigh in, they can’t buy in.”
However, it is important to see that this is not a reason to delay the decision-making process.
“When leadership teams wait for consensus before taking action, they usually end up with decisions that are made too late and are mildly disagreeable to everyone. This is a recipe for mediocrity and frustration.”
To avoid the consensus trap, you can use a concept called “disagree and commit.” This is when people can’t come to an agreement on an issue but are willing to commit to taking a mutual course of action. This will allow the leader to hear everyone’s opinion, bring the discussion to clear close and expect all team members to commit to that decision.
In this process, most people have an open mind and will follow an idea that wasn’t theirs, as long as they know they had a chance to put in their opinions/ideas. If the opposite happens, it is impossible for team members to actively commit to a decision.
What does the aftermath look like?
Those who did not commit to actively making a decision will go back to their regular activities and not contribute to the newly agreed idea.
Instead, they will wait for problems to build up and say, “Well, I never really liked that idea in the first place.” How many have heard this feedback way down the road?
This issue can be costly to a company and organization. The only way to stop that from happening is to demand mastering conflict from your team members and to let them know they will be held accountable for the decisions made collectively as a team. Embrace the conflict of putting out your idea, and then move into a willingness to actively make a decision.
Many times team members leave a meeting with different ideas about what was decided on collectively, though everyone was sitting in the same room. One way to stop that from happening is at the end of the meeting, review the ideas that were agreed on by the team and clarify anything that isn’t crystal clear. Taking this extra step will prevent any confusion and misaligned messages.
For a full dive on Achieving Commit, you find more information in Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage.
The next part of the series will be over Accountability and if you would like to review the past principles you can check them out on our blog!