Recently I was sitting down with my team to work through the logistics of a project that needed to be done within a couple of days. If we all pitched in it would only take about 5 hours to accomplish (between 3 of us). It’s a routine item that none of us have any enthusiasm to do, however it’s one of those things that has to be done. Last month we struggled to get it done because one team member baulked at his assignment and fought every step of the way.
The issue was he didn’t feel like he had any input into what was his share of the project. This month as we talked about how to get it done I let everyone have a say in what they would tackle. As it turns out we got done in record time and with zero problems with attitude. It helped me realize one of the fundamentals of effective teams – buy in.
When teams are working at peak performance it’s because they are all committed to the goals, they know what to do and how they can contribute. This comes from getting buy-in from the start. To get the buy-in it is critical to take all the steps to ensure that you get the commitment you need for peak performance.
1. Share the Goal: The first step is to let everyone know what must be accomplished. It is critical for the team to understand what is needed and why it’s important to the organization. Whenever possible tying the organization’s goals to the team and down to the individual can go a long way to creating commitment to the goal.
2. Define Success: Once the goal is known define success so that people understand what needs to be done. If the team can clearly see what needs to be done they will be more effective in getting tasks done.
3. Clarify Roles: Know that everyone knows what is needed and what to do it’s time to spell out how each person will contribute to the goal. Whenever possible let the team have a say in what they will do. It gets them more invested in accomplishing the project. While letting people self-determine their role, keep an eye on the overall tasks and make sure things are covered and divided up fairly.
When the team is committed great things happen. Getting them committed takes some time and requires oversight to make sure it all comes together. However, when done well the team will be engaged and will step up to deal with the unexpected issues that always arise.
What steps have you taken to get a team’s buy-in to ensure success?