Meaningful Changes for Teams Start with Individual Change

A recent article written by Jennifer Porter in the Harvard Business Review states that if you want to improve your team, it starts with reflecting on yourself. Rather than focusing on “trouble-makers” or “dysfunctional” team members, begin thinking “what can I change?”

Pause and Reflect

When faced with problems on a team, if we do not pause to consider how we are reacting, and how we are contributing to these problems, very little can be expected to change. It’s common to blame or criticise others, become defensive, or try to avoid the issue altogether. These are all natural, but ineffective, responses. It’s crucial to develop self-awareness and take personal responsibility, in order to tackle a problem. Understand how your own subjective beliefs, values, and emotions are affecting how you respond to the situation, especially in times of confrontation or challenge.

If we do not pause, we are liable to be victims of the fundamental attribution error. We naturally tend to believe that when things go well for us, it is due to our own internal reasons (“I succeeded because I worked hard”) and negative outcomes are due to external reasons (“I wasn’t well prepared for that meeting because my team didn’t support me enough and didn’t give me enough information”). However, we often see it the other way around for others: Positive outcomes are external (“they succeeded because they were lucky”) and negatives are internal (“they weren’t prepared for the meeting because they’re lazy”). If we are not aware of these natural biases, it can cause a lot of frustration and stop us from seeing that the different perspectives of others are equally valid.


Change the Viewing to Change the Doing

Change starts from within an individual. A shift in how we view things is the most important step in impacting behaviours, and changes in behaviours will lead to different outcomes. As the saying goes, if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got. Take a different perspective, not just the one that comes automatically.

As Steven Covey said, ““everything starts with the individual because all meaningful change comes from the inside-out.”


Want to know more? 

At KinchLyons, we specialise in developing high performing teams. We use a range of psychometric assessments, including one we’ve developed and now distribute globally. Contact us if you’re interested in maximising your team’s strengths and transforming the way your team operates!

Email or call (01) 2788 727.