In any professional setting there most likely is a leader who is steering the operation. It’s essential that leaders and managers remain transparent rather than mysterious about the vision and plans of the project. On a recent P6 Genius Bar webinar I discovered how frustrating it can be when you’re trying to complete a project but the guidance of your manager is not transparent or clearly indicated. A Plan Academy customer was frustrated with the short term planning of his manager and that most of the work was executed based on assumptions. By working blindly on a project it can become very discouraging and minimize productivity.
Yes there will be times when obstacles arise but leaders and managers need to continuously align their team with the vision of the project. Adjusting the plan for long term team alignment is more important than just striving for weekly agreements of what needs to be done. Short term thinking can complicate the results and leave your team lost, so working towards team alignment is the way to go.
What do I mean by aligning your team for best results? Podcaster Michael Hyatt, author of best seller Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World hosts a weekly podcast called ‘This Is Your Life” that is focused on helping individual’s align work and success in life.
In a recent episode, Hyatt discusses why leaders of a team should strive to create unity.
He starts by explaining that there are 3 levels of unity:
- Acceptance [lowest] – When those in the team don’t challenge the leader and just act according to the vision or plan given.
- Agreement – When those in the team agree with the direction the leader is steering the project in and support it. They buy into the argument presented by the leader mentally. This level is not recommended because it can be difficult to reach an agreement with everyone, which can delay the project or planning process.
- Alignment [highest and ultimate level of unity] – This is where the team not only agrees with the plan mentally, but are also aligned with the vision and the outcome.
Furthermore, Hyatt says that when you have alignment you do not necessarily need to be in agreement. A little confusing no? When someone in the team doesn’t agree with the vision or plan at hand, but the leader feels that this is the best method, you as a leader should reply:
“I hear what you’re saying and I get that you don’t agree but are you willing to align with it?”
Hyatt states that when people feel heard and a part of the decision they can align for the sake of the team and the contract.
Hyatt goes on to discuss 5 simple steps to get your team to align:
- Discuss the 3 levels of unity with your team (explained above).
- Clearly articulate the vision, strategy or program
- Create an environment that is safe for dissent
- Take time to consider your decision
- Announce your decision and then ask for alignment
For the complete run down on these 5 steps watch the podcast and learn how to align your team with any vision.
“Strive for alignment, don’t settle for agreement.” -Michael Hyatt