Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Develop Self-Directed Teams Where Choice is Innovation and Engagement

The concept of Self-Directed and Other-Directed is that self-directed people believe at all times they have a choice and stay accountable for actions and projects.
While other-directed people believe they have no options but to comply and take revenge on your company and act like a victim.

When you ask a self-directed person to do a task, their thinking is to either agree or disagree with doing it.

They accept the consequences of their choice and actions because they feel ownership of them.

This applies to team members and dealing with team members in empowering them to have a choice while at the same time the staff must illustrate boundaries in behavior to keep the team members in a self-directed manner.
The boundaries do not remove their choice to behave in certain manner, they aid in the building of self-directed behaviors. After they make the choice the consequences are not something that can be controlled.
If team members are set up to make choices and learn from experience that positive choices can have negative consequences. If these negative consequences occur the team members have the ability to accept them because they were the team members who made the choice for the action (they do not have to like them).
How do you as a team leader establish choice?
Does your team really have choice in actions? or are you forcing the illusion of choice?
What do you know of your team members beliefs?
When was the last time you ask team members for their beliefs?
What behaviors are you as the team leaders showing that illustrate you lack of choice?
Imagine what would happen in your team if people had the ability for choice, is it chaos? is it happiness?
What choices make you accountable? What choices make you un-accountable?

-Michael Cardus is the founder of Create-Learning-Team Building, an experiential based training and development consulting organization, as well as a blogger for TeamBuilding NY. Mike specializes in team development and leadership development consulting and training, creating team-building programs that retain talented staff members, increase production and effectiveness of your team. He lives in Buffalo, NY, and travels to you to serve your team-building and leadership training needs, wherever and whenever fits your schedule.