Updated: Apr 15, 2019
Many organizations suffer from low productivity, demotivating organizational culture, and lack of synergy among teams because leaders lack three attributes: 1. The ability to establish a safe environment 2. The ability to confront issues in a positive way, and 3. failure to instill and enforce common values.
According to researches, the key ingredient to empowered teams is Psychological Safety. Team members need to feel that they could voice their opinions and be themselves without fear of getting ostracized or judged. The lack of safety triggers the Fight or Flight Response. When team members are no longer talking or are unreasonably argumentative, those are tell-tale signs of the Fight or Flight Response. Those behaviors can only lead to bigger problems.
The ability to confront issues in a positive way is usually a question of skill rather than desire. Leaders know there is a need to confront or dialogue, the usual challenge is - How? It is imperative that leaders grow in the ability to reprimand if necessary, mediate between conflicting parties, and conflict coach. Failure to act when it is called-for, will only lead to either people avoiding the issue and pretending everything is ok, or attrition.
Finally, leaders who fail to instill common values, enforce them consistently across the organization, and develop a culture where those common values could thrive, is really leaving synergy to chance. People have different family backgrounds, different Alma Maters, and different exposures in life. Those factors create in a person a set of values. When entering an organization, one has to accept that his personal values need to align with the common values of the organization, otherwise conflict could arise. It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that common values bring-about unity and collaboration.