Avoiding the Triangulation Trap

Focused Team Communication: Avoiding the Triangulation Trap

Is your team in sync?

How would you rate your team’s communication?

Triangulation impairs progress, decreases morale and creates division.
Groups become divided. Trust erodes, production suffers, conflict increases, and creativity may be blunted as communication dynamics worsen.

Triangulation goes something like this:

Team Member 1 (TM1) and 2 have a conflict.

• TM1 goes to TM3 to talk about TM2.
• TM2 isn’t in the loop and consequently, isn’t aware of the TM1 to TM3 interaction.
• When TM2 gets wind of this, he/she feels blindsided, resentful and mistrustful.
• Communication Challenge is Magnified!

Yet, there are simple steps team leaders can take to immediately impact their team’s communication challenges!

Today’s key to success:

1) Create awareness of triangulation within your team.
2) Generate the following agreement with your team:

a) Step 1: I agree to resolve issues directly with source of the challenge.

b) Step 2: I agree I will not talk in a negative fashion about my colleague behind their back.

c) Step 3: If I’m unable to resolve the conflict with the individual, I will seek a neutral mentor or 3rd party to coach me through the conflict or ask for mediation.

d) Step 4: For steps 1 – 3, I will be accountable and actionable throughout the process.

Most of us have experienced team synchronicity. Most of us have experienced triangulation. By following a few simple steps, your team will make giant leaps!

Ways to Improve Creativity at Workplace

True essence of creativity in work comes from your own perception of every employee. Every worker or employee has a unique perception of the world and the way things work. It is not about mechanism and clock-work but the reason. When every worker is allowed to work on his own terms and in his own way, you will find creativity and innovation in everyone’s assignments.

It was Bill Gates who said that his best employees were the laziest ones because they always found the easiest way to get the job done. Clearly, he was amazed by how individual behavior could beget about such efficiency, hence we learn from him that creativity in the workplace allows improvements. As a manager, you must not just talk about being creative; you must encourage your workers to be creative. If an organization doesn’t allow room for this in its culture, then it is likely to lose a competitive edge.

Creativity also gives free profits. You require no investment except support to employee and in return they are motivated and willing to offer you their best. So how does one improve creativity in the workplace?

Create A System

Include creativity and self perception into the organization’s culture. If creativity in work and assignments is what you want then there is no better way than to keep it as a core value in your company. Managers allowing employees to give feedback and inputs on company goals really help them understand the work better. Sales reps can develop much better ways to intrigue the customers since they’re the ones dealing with them on a daily basis. What better source is there then?

Education has nothing to do with creativity. It is simply a person’s different approach to the same point of view. All managers have to do is allow their workers to give their input for the assignment, these inputs could help managers point out problems they never even saw coming and the employee that saw it coming probably have a better way dealing with it than others. If all companies approached the problem in the same way, then who has the competitive edge?

Allow Space For Freedom

Instead of giving assignments with restricted guidelines and instructions, inform the employee of the ultimate goal for the assignment and ask them to do whatever it takes to get the job done. You can always supervise the worker to assure they are not going out of line or breaking any rules which hence gives you the authority. You just need to trust the employees that they will deliver. This way the employees feel motivated and recognize that they have authority and power on the work they do.

Encourage Team Work

Sometimes the most productive and creative work comes from team assignments. Most companies in the information technology industry only operate in teams. HP assigns the creation and development of each product to teams from different departments and the team is responsible for the success of the product. The result: every employee from his respective specialized field works with other specialties and brings in valuable and unique knowledge on the floor. The success depends on how well all employees work together and the floor simply brings in new and fresh ideas and perspectives from every angle.

In short, as a manager only you can bring in creativity in the work environment and foster it. The more authoritative you are, the lesser room there is for creativity because only freedom allows creative ideas to surface. Not all ideas are creative or even effective but that is the job of the manager to use his years of experience to properly polish the idea of the employee and eventually train the employee to see the bigger picture.

Anger Issues at Workplace and How to Tackle Them

Anger- a human emotion that most commonly springs from mild irritation and can build up to intense rage, and when it gets out of control or becomes excessive, it can have dire effects. Aan ideal workplace needs to be an efficient, organized place with a congenial work environment. This is not a far fetch idea, but can easily be enforced by teamwork between colleagues, mutual respect and unconditional cooperation. When you add anger issues to this equation, the positive environment falls apart; not only is there a negative impact on individuals but also on the output of the company.

What Are The Causes For Anger Issues At Work?

Workplace anger flare-ups can be caused by:

  1. Build up of stress from work-related or personal issues
  2. Not dealing with smaller conflicts in the past or feelings of resentment and letting them simmer
  3. Pressure of deadlines, anxiety issues and feeling overworked
  4. Not interacting well with coworkers, especially if they are expressing hostility themselves
  5. Too much negative criticism and not enough positive enforcement by employers/supervisors
  6. Misusing a position of power and feeling dominant over subordinates
  7. Miscommunication

It is important to first realize that an anger problem exists, and then to identify what the causes of the problem are.  Anger could be coming from the boss and directed at everyone, or it may be a problem with a few particular workers who are spewing unreasonable amounts of negativity at their coworkers and even at higher ups. You could be raising your voice, shouting, using insulting language, hitting the table, throwing things, pointing fingers – any kind of aggressive behavior at small provocations indicates an anger management problem.

The Impact of Unresolved Anger Issues

Not only will your colleagues be put off by your angry behavior, but overall work performance of the organization is bound to suffer. The victims of your outbursts will not want to work with you; they will start harboring feelings of resentment and be unable to function with you as a team. Trust and mutual respect will fracture, and eventually productivity will start seeing a decline.

An angry boss who is always shouting at or rude to his employees will end up producing similar results, along with a decrease in morale and willingness of employees to work. The impact of negative comments can have serious psychological effects and lead people to depression and low self-esteem. At the end of the day, the company will lose money and credibility.

How To Tackle Workplace Anger Problems

  1. Identify the stress points and things that cause you to lose your temper,
  2. Work on fixing your personal life; a happier you outside the office will lead to a happier you when at work,
  3. Stop instantly blaming others for making you angry; ask yourself what you could have done better to resolve an issue that became the ground for conflict,
  4. When faced by an explosive situation, stop, take a deep breath and walk away; take a few minutes to clear your head and objectively evaluate the situation before re-entering it,
  5. Take small breaks during the day to get fresh air and de-stress once you are off from work by doing relaxing activities to help siphon away work-related tension,
  6. If your problem is severe, obtain professional counseling or take an anger management course.

Building Team Spirit

Many modern organizations have accepted that the new way to be efficient and allow creativity in the organization is by promoting team spirit. Now team spirit encourages creativity because it allows diverse ideas from equal authority sources. However, every individual is responsible for his own specialized actions and shares the authority of his individual projects. Hence, they wish to do it their own way that best suits them. So how can an organization build team spirit? How can a manager motivate teams to work together and be productive and profitable? The answer is easy. All you have to do is follow a few simple rules and tips.

Common Ground

The first thing a manager must do is assign a common goal. When team members are assigned common grounds and goals, they are bound to work together as the fall of one is the fall of all. Now what effect this has is that every individual in the team will assure that every other member is on track.  Every individual will try to assist the others that need help or assistance, in any way possible. This promotes team work and team spirit: all for one and one for all. This also means that teams should be allowed to work individually and decide on who their leader is. Sometimes a leader is not even required, everyone tends to work together perfectly and the manager only needs to ask for feedback on the project status every now and then.

Identify Non-Value-Added Work

Bureaucracy, rework, and inefficiency are all those things that destroy employee morale and create a feeling of not wanting to commit to the work.  Make sure that all workers are involved in all of the work and decision making so that no one employee benefits from working less than the others.

Build A Strong Relationship

Bring in sessions and activities that strengthen the relationship between all the team members. Offsite activities, company retreats and training sessions on team building, all help build better relations in teams.

Autonomy

Autonomy should always be provided to the team manager to see creativity and commitment. If the team feels they have the authority to make all decisions and come up with their own techniques, they will surely work better and excel. Creativity requires freedom and the best way freedom is provided in a company is through autonomy.

Avoid Conflicting Interests

Never try to micro evaluate team members. If you place competition and try to figure out what individual of the team is responsible for failure, then you’ll end up watching team members play the blame game.

Bring the idea of unity in strength into the organization’s culture. Any work is not one person’s work but the work for all individuals to reach the company’s ultimate goal. With this perception and idea in mind, no matter what department an employee works for, he will always be there to assist a fellow colleague in need. One crucial factor a manager must always control is “Competition”. The lesser competition there is between members of a team, the better. Competition between teams can be healthy as individuals will then try to work efficiently as a team than as individuals.