Healthy Team Commitments – Be Teachable

By January 13, 2020Leadership

Teams are more than just a collection of individuals doing individual things. But even they are working together, growing teams require growing individuals. In other words, a healthy team is not built with unhealthy individuals.

Which brings us to the next commitment that healthy teams make:

We are committed to being teachable and to take personal responsibility for our own leadership growth.

No healthy leader ever stops learning, adjusting, and growing. Unhealthy leaders reach a base of knowledge and refuse to entertain new ideas or dissenting opinions. Those leaders are dangerous. They might be stuck in the past or blind to new opportunities. But even more dangerous than that, they won’t attract (or keep) the people they need to be successful.

When a teammate refuses to grow, they are putting the team at risk. If all they have to do is shovel dirt from one hole to another, maybe not. But in most cases, teams must overcome the unpredictable, deal with uncertainty, and work with the best knowledge they have at the time. These variables require a growth-mindset.

In my work through the years, I’ve discovered that personal growth is an individual decision that requires humility. I cannot make any teammate a kinder person or better at managing projects. I can teach, train, coach, mentor, and incentivize – but it’s up to them to develop the necessary skills or attitudes.

One of the most important things to discern during an interview process is teachability. Is the person teachable? Are they open to new ideas? Do they have a innate desire to grow and improve?

It’s also one of the hardest things to discern.

Nothing is more damaging to team progress than a team member who is not self-aware. Without an awareness of the need to improve, there will be little internal motivation to improve. Which means that change must be encouraged through external means. While most of those means might be positive and nice (training, coaching), some of them are not so nice – but necessary.

It’s why healthy teams are learning teams. They encourage an atmosphere of discovery. They have formal and informal training opportunities. By creating a learning atmosphere, you are sending the message that continual improvement is not only desired but expected.

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  • 25+ years of senior leadership experience
  • masters in management and leadership
  • presenter at the WFX National Conference
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