This is what a leader shared with us recently.
When we asked what they observed, they said there’s a lack of challenging of ideas and a lack of constructive debate and spirited conversation.
And when we asked about the impact…
‘We aren’t utilising the experience in this team. We are not making good decisions because we are not hearing the honest opinions of all our team members, which is negatively impacting our results.’
In his book ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’, Patrick Lencioni says artificial harmony is due to a fear of conflict which is due to a lack of trust.
In our experience, artificial harmony can also be due to:
- a clash of personalities
- a newly forming team – needing to be nice and not rock the boat
- a lack of psychological safety – not ‘game’ to speak up
- the leadership’s style – not actively encouraging contributions from all members of the team.
Our tip to our client?
Poke the bear. Ask questions to evoke honest opinions within a safe environment.
Don’t just hope it changes! But go gently with these questions.
Have regular conversations with the team about how they are working together, encouraging them to be open and honest with their responses.
Here are two questions to get you started:
- When we are at our best, what does it look like?
- What are the barriers and roadblocks to us being our best?
One conversation won’t fix it but committing to a regular ‘Team Time Out’ will encourage people to talk.
What do you think contributes to artificial harmony?