We learned how to give feedback. One important step this team took to improve its performance was to create a sort of social contract. They agreed to a number of behaviors they wanted to hold themselves accountable for. The team started practicing a “scoring” technique to track how well they practiced the behaviors individually, and learned how to give feedback to explain their scores for each other.
Teams like Litster’s often include a number of common elements in their “operating agreements.” Some items might include avoiding blame, looking for the root cause of a problem, communicating messages even when they’re hard to say, and receiving messages without defensiveness even when they’re hard to hear.
We’ve all encountered organizations that are going through a lot of change. I recently worked with an organization going through a transitional phase–they had a new division and even that division had gone through a major overhaul so they could be higher functioning within the whole of the company. All of that change can be hard on a team.