One of the most common behind-the-scenes issues I see when I work with organizations is a team that isn’t on the same page.
Maybe someone was hired to do a job, but over time, it’s morphed into different agendas and different plans. Most of the times, this isn’t a sinister thing. But that doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous.
If your team isn’t on the same page, your organization is never going to achieve the best results.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are four things you can do to rectify the problem.
#1 – Take responsibility.
If your team isn’t on the same page, it’s not the time to play the blame game. Performance reviews, complaining behind doors or just piling on additional expectations isn’t going to change anything.
Because misalignment is mostly the fault of the leader.
So the first thing to do is take responsibility. If you’re the leader, you’re responsible for your team being on the same page. It’s not their fault; it’s your responsibility.
The leader is the Chief Clarity Officer of the organization or the team. It’s up to you to clarify roles and goals and bring alignment to your team.
The good news is you can do it. You’ve got what it takes.
#2 – Make it a goal to get on the same page.
I know you have programs, products, campaigns and a slew of other things going on. But if your team isn’t on the same page, it’s time for the pause button.
None of those things are more important (and they aren’t going to work well anyway). Instead of just plowing through all the regular work, carve out focused time and energy to get on the same page. It’s not going to happen through your regular schedule and with your regular meetings. Nobody drifts INTO clarity.
If you want to get on your same page, you need to clear the calendar and make it a major focus over the next few months. Your first great decision as a leader is deciding to focus on this.
#3 – Commit to more conversations.
The process of alignment isn’t complicated, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Because people are involved, there are lots of opportunities to get sideways and hurt feelings.
That’s why you have to commit to conversations. Text messages and emails aren’t going to work here. You’re going to have to schedule meetings – in the office and over coffee – and work hard on this.
You can’t lead this process from behind a desk or behind a computer. It’s going to take lots of conversations, lots of listening, and a lot of work. Honestly, this is why most leaders don’t have a team on the same page….it’s easier to just let things go and meagerly manage results.
But if you’ll commit to conversations, you can bring alignment to your team.
#4 – Get help.
If you’ve got a team who isn’t on the same page, you probably need outside help. This is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.
Bringing in help isn’t admitting you don’t know what to do; it’s about being intentional and focused on something that is extremely important. It says to the team, “Clarity for all of us is important and it’s not going to come by just trying harder.”
When I look back at the organizations I led (primarily a church and an INC 5000 company), major breakthroughs always came when we sought outside help to help us go to the next level. Compared to the resulting focus and growth, the investment ended up being minimal.
If you’re leading a team that’s not on the same page, you’re working much harder than you need to to get results that are less than spectacular. Get someone to come in and help you align everything and get everyone on the same page.