seem to be a major problem with this. But it should be of concern to you,
because a clique is in effect a team within a team and often they form con-
flicting goals, which are at variance with the overall cohesion of the team.
This is not to say that individuals cannot exercise their right to mix with
whom they like, but the formation of cliques is different and can be detri-
mental to overall team performance. You should proactively tackle such
issues as they arise.
Building-block 5
communication and consultation
Communication and consultation comprise the life-blood of all successful
teams and it is through regular, structured and effective communication
that common bonds are formed and conflict is addressed before it esca-
lates. As a leader, you must establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate
better communication.
Communication at work tends to be focused upon outcome-related matters
and little separate time is devoted to dealing with team concerns. As a leader,
you should seek to address this imbalance with your team. This can be rela-
tively easily achieved by holding daily briefings, which have an outcome focus,
and monthly team meetings which also have an outcome focus, but allow time
to focus on team-related matters. There will of course be other meetings, but
introducing these two forms of communication should be your early priority.
Daily briefings
Keep them short, to the point and outcome focused.
Use them to clarify with the team the work requirements for the day.
They are not designed to be two-way discussions, for that would take
too long, but of course opportunities are provided to team members
to seek clarification on issues relating to the day’s work.
They are an opportunity for you to provide direction and to give
regular feedback to the team.
READ_C07.QXP 1/10/07 12:04 Page 86
Due to the fact that they are short, usually around 10 minutes, many
leaders overlook their importance and believe that missing a daily briefing,
or not holding them at all, makes no difference.
Frequently Asked
I don’t see the need for daily briefings. It’s only a couple of minutes:
what’s the point?
Some leaders use excuses for not conducting daily briefings,
ranging from there is no time, or that shift patterns mean
everyone would not be there, to the fact that the work is the
same every day so there would be nothing to say. But this is a
major misconception for a number of reasons.
First, taken in isolation, a 10-minute briefing is really not of
great importance, but it is their collective value over a working
year that has significance. A 10-minute briefing held five days a
week, 50 weeks of the year leads to 2,500 minutes of communi-
cation with the team, or in other words over 40 hours per year!
It is this total impact of the direction and feedback provided during the
year which makes briefings such a critical tool for the leader. In addition,
holding daily briefings also reminds the team, in a subconscious way, that
you are the leader and they are a team.
A further advantage of holding briefings is that by bringing the team
together on a daily basis, you will be able to gauge the mood and dynamics
of the team over time, which will help you to monitor overall team
‘climate’, which we will discuss later. You will naturally see individuals
throughout the day, but this is your chance to view them as a unit, and you
will quickly get a sense as to the atmosphere and relationships. So bringing
everyone together for a few minutes is vitally important at the start of each
day or shift.
READ_C07.QXP 1/10/07 12:04 Page 87

Get Ready To Lead? now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.