Community Services management hacks: How to unify your team

Building the team you want, long term

Ok, that was awkward.  

Team meeting. Different opinions add strength to a team. But sometimes opinions turn into agendas, which can turn into heated conversations, a lot of eye rolling, and a bit of head shaking. Even the flies on the wall left the room…  

When your team is in conflict, it’s not pleasant. Maybe you’re not experiencing direct conflict, but there’s just a sense you’re not ‘together’.
So how do you bring everyone back onto the same page, especially when there’s completing ideas and you can see where each person is coming from?  

The good news is, if you’re asking this kind of question, you must be a good leader.  

Only good leaders seek to repair divisions and grow their team forward together – because you could always sweep it under the rug. Just a hint though, it’s not a great option!  

The other good news? If your team is in this kind of conflict, it generally means the bond is strong enough to allow it – so there is solid potential to grow forward. Most of the time when splinters start to occur, it’s simply an opportunity to ‘define and refine’; that is, to define your purpose, and refine your process.  

Here’s how:

The good news is, if you’re asking how you can bring your team together onto the same page, you must be a good leader.

Define your purpose

A unified team starts with a unified purpose. Team fragmentation can start to occur when the group has lost sight of what it set out to accomplish. Perhaps the language of purpose has been replaced with the language of policies. That is, all the air time is going towards information, not inspiration.

To bring your team together, start to talk the language of common purpose. It doesn’t mean you go around sprouting motivational mumbo jumbo to any vacant ear – as a manager you need to be intentional about how you inspire your team.

As a community services provider, you’re all about people. So spend some time thinking about that mission statement on your desktop wallpaper, and ask yourself:

  • How do these words relate to our clients?
  • How have I noticed our purpose and goals in action?
  • How can I strategically communicate these, in a way that feels natural to my managerial style?
  • How can I use these examples to make our organisational purpose relatable?

Defining your purpose is about making your mission accessible and engaging for your team. Once they see that you really are committed to the big picture purpose, it’s easier to bring everyone together on the same page.

Aim for discussion first, not agreement

Unifying your team is tricky, and depending on how much work you have to do, it might take longer than you think. The trick is not to blow everyone out of the water with a massive knee-jerk reaction. A great leader is a measured leader – you don’t have to change the world overnight, but you can act now to make tomorrow better.  

First of all, just work on bringing everyone to the table. The initial step is to simply discuss and talk things through. When we have a place of meeting, a place of agreement can follow.

Define and refine

Unifying your team is not a one-size fits all approach. Sometimes it’s about going back to the big picture and taking time to define your purpose as an organisation. Other times it’s about refining those systems and structures that have become stumbling blocks instead of step ladders.

Whatever it is, think ‘define and refine’, and take small, intentional steps today to transform your team dynamics tomorrow.

Unifying your team is not a one-size fits all approach. Sometimes it’s about going back to the big picture and taking time to define your purpose as an organisation.

Over to you

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