• Jorim Holtey-Weber

3 Steps to a Team with Culture

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

It is common to have small workgroups of less than ten people with one (formal or informal) group leader. In this article, I describe three vital elements of leadership and apply them to small groups.

Sometimes, you, the group leader, notice that there has to be a change to be able to continue moving forward. Things are not working properly, perhaps the group members are moving off-topic, discussing ideas that are not relevant at this phase, or are simply less productive than they could be. You decide that something has to change.

1. You Cannot Change People

At this point, the most important aspect to understand, in my opinion, is that you cannot change people. That is the same approach as in my article about motivation (You cannot motivate people | continue reading). What I mean is critical: So many people assume that one person can change another person. However, unless the desire to change is already present in the other person, long-lasting change is never going to happen forcibly. Yes, you might be able to force your group members to do things differently, but only in the short run. In the long run, it will decrease morale and they might just do it their own way once you are not watching anymore.

2. Facilitate Change

Instead of trying to make people change, facilitate change. What I mean with that starts with understanding the other people. Everyone has a reason (however thoughtful or practical) for doing the things exactly the way they do it. Understand their reasons, they are the key to their behaviour. Once you understood their reasons you might have been convinced that the way they do it actually makes sense. Or maybe your approach still seems more viable. In that case, explain your thoughts and the reasons behind them to reach a consensus with the other people (by the way, in the ideal scenario this would happen 1-on-1 but is certainly possible in groups as well).

3. Understand the Team & Build Trust

Going through this process, you understand the team and build trust because people are listened to and taken seriously. Of course, this process takes longer than demanding and forcing change upon your team members, but ask yourself what do you want – short-term obedience or an enduring strong culture based on trust and communication?

What might be interesting to continue…

Disagreement Doesn’t Exist


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