One of the most common causes of frustration, dysfunction, and stagnation for a team is often the result of one thing: lack of clarity. It’s as simple as that. People become confused when there is a lack of clarity. And when there is confusion, bad habits and behaviors start to form that are detrimental to the team. Ultimately, if not resolved, this can lead to a toxic environment in any team.
Here’s the kicker though–this can be avoided so easily with clear and consistent communication. Yet, for whatever reason, leaders often struggle to communicate in a way that creates clarity. Or worse, they fail to even communicate at all.
If you lead a team, then it is vital that you take intentional steps to create clarity for your people. How? By making sure that each member of your team is clear about answers to a few key questions.
1) What is our daily mission as a team?
Everyone needs to know what the team is focused on accomplishing day in and day out, and they need to know how success is defined for the team. The best way to do this is to clarify the mission. Having a clear sense of mission gives meaning, and when people have meaning in what they do, they give their best.
2) What is my role?
Each team member must be clear about how they fit in, and they need to know how their individual work contributes to the overall success of the team. When there is role clarity, people can focus on being the best at what they do so the team can be the best it can be. It also helps to eliminate internal politics and confusion, which leads to increased effectiveness and boosts morale.
3) What do you expect of me?
Lastly, it is essential that team members have clarity about what is expected of them. Expectations should not only pertain to the specific tasks of the job itself, but just as importantly, things like attitude, work habits, and interpersonal relationships with colleagues. As a leader, you cannot hold a person accountable unless you have clearly articulated what you expect of them.
Leaders – ask yourself if you have clarified these three questions for your team. If you’re not sure, ask them. I can assure you of this: if you will take the time to create clarity around these three questions, it has the potential to take your team to the next level by drastically increasing cohesion, communication, and performance.
What leader wouldn’t want that?