What Is Your Team Avoiding?

Research on performance psychology reveals that most people avoid tasks that involve potential rejection or a negative outcome.

For example, as competition for new customers increases the probability of losing a proposal increases.  Therefore, you may find team members procrastinating follow-up with customers; a vital component of winning.

When goal achievement is more difficult, leaders need to be alert for avoidance behavior and be ready to coach and counteract it.

Chad Johnson, Leader of ADB Utility Contractors, is a great coach at work and for his son’s basketball team.  Chad says “sometimes you have to tell the team to stop staring at the scoreboard.”

Defining results and scorekeeping are habits at ADB.  Yet, Chad knows that over-watching the score paralyzes team action.  “When you are down by 20 Points at half time you need to help the team create a strategy to win. Pull the team together and tell them let’s cut this to 10 by end third quarter…and then get within 5 with 5 minutes to go. Quit staring at the 20 and start figuring out how to get it down to 10.”  Breaking the larger goal down into more manageable pieces is a great way to reduce procrastination and avoidance.

Another avoidance antidote is experimenting with new strategies.  Doing overcomes doubt.  At the law firm Capes, Sokol, Goodman & Sarachan, Mark Goodman is always on the look-out for new ways of promoting team collaboration and client service.

Mark discovered a new client development tool by talking with a colleague in an established accounting firm. Experimenting is a great way for leaders to help their teams avoid avoidance. Trying something for a short period of time increases buy-in, innovation and energy.  If the “test” achieves results the team is more likely to repeat it.  If it doesn’t, you can find another strategy without regret. What behavior is your team avoiding? Do you know the signs? How can you break down goals to promote energy and confidence or discover new ways to generate results now?

YOUR NEXT STEPS: Talk to Congruence, Inc.

Call Congruence, Inc. or email Jan to learn more about Achieving Results on Purpose.