How to stop the vicious circle

Ryan has a sense of déjà vu. It’s a different day, but the same old meeting. His team gets stuck on the same issues over and over again. How can the team move forward?

Here’s how we’d help Ryan deal with this problem. You can use the same strategies to prevent your team from recycling the same issues.

Clarify objectives

Perhaps team members are putting personal objectives before team ones. They’re forgetting that, as a team, they should be focussed on the same goals. Eleanor Shakiba would advise Ryan to take the team back to basics. Revisit the team’s core objectives. Get commitment to team goals over personal ones.

Encourage debate

What if people are unhappy with the team’s decisions? Perhaps Ryan’s team is raking over old issues because people weren’t committed to decisions in the first place.

Ryan can resolve this by giving issues enough airtime when they first crop up. He should encourage constructive, open debate. If possible, he should get everyone to lay their cards on the table. He can do this by using conflict mapping techniques – which we teach in our course FAST Ways to Resolve Conflict. If trust is an issue, Ryan may need to look at teambuilding strategies.

People won’t agree all the time. Consensus won’t always be possible. This is okay and to be expected. Teams work well, however, when people feel they have been listened to. They are then more likely to commit to decisions, even ones they don’t agree with.

Be clear about who is in charge

Reviewing the team’s leadership may be a next step for Ryan. Does the meeting even have a formal leader? Does this leader step in when the going gets tough? Do they really have authority to act? Whoever leads the meeting must listen to team members. However, when there’s conflicting views, the leader must be prepared to make decisions.

Make clear decisions

Ryan’s team may be re-treading old ground because of uncertain decisions. Perhaps decisions aren’t clearly, so people forget they’ve been made. There’s no room for ambiguity. By the end of the meeting everyone in Ryan’s team should understand the who’s what’s when’s and how’s of any decisions which have been made. The minutes should simply confirm what people already know.

Book a personal coaching session with Eleanor. Contact us now.

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