As a leader and/or a teammate, you bring a uniqueness to your team. You bring a unique set of gifts and talents that no one else on the team brings. You bring a unique set of perspectives that no one else has heard. You bring a unique history and group of experiences that no one else has lived.
There isn’t anyone exactly like you who has ever lived, currently living or will ever live.
And when you, bring you, it changes everything on the team.
As a leader you must tap into the “You” of every teammate. Additionally, as a leader, you must tap into your “you.”
Here are three things you can do now as a leader to start tapping into your teams uniqueness and their “You.”
1. Hire for diversity. I’m not talking about cultural diversity here, though that might be something you consider, but I am talking about diversity in terms of talents, perspectives and history.
Many leaders, and I mean many, hire people like themselves, or even worse, people they feel won’t disagree with them or stir things up.
What happens when you hire people like you, or people who will say “yes” to every idea or suggestion you have? You get one idea, one thought and one perspective… yours!
If you are the type of leader who feels you are always right and the only ideas that have any merit are yours, then go ahead and continue to fail to tap into the power of a diverse team and ultimately fall behind.
It is far better to embrace the two brains are better than one mentality as a leader, instead of my brain is better than yours mentality.It is far better to embrace the two brains are better than one mentality as a leader, instead of my brain is better than yours mentality.Click To Tweet
2. Make meeting participation a requirement by all. But of course, first make sure your meetings are worthy of participation. See Get Your Team Excited About Meetings—3 Things Boring Meetings Are Missing.
Most meetings unfortunately include passive participants, and as a result fail to tap into all of the uniqueness of a team.
As a leader, give your team permission to participate by creating clear ground rules that create an expectation of participation by all. Even your most inexperienced team members can bring a unique talent, history or perspective that can dramatically change your team for the good.
3. Create a culture that supports and values all members of the team. Encourage, recognize and celebrate the successes of all team members.
Ensure that first you understand the skill sets on your team and second that you are regularly looking for opportunities to use team members skills. Delegation is a great way to do this. See Leader’s Must Delegate—Why Is It So Hard? 3 Easy Practical Tips.
If you see someone on the team who isn’t happy and/or isn’t completely engaged, ask why? What gifts and talents are you failing to tap into? Talk to them.
You have an important role as a leader in ensuring that you and all members of your team are bringing the “You” every day. Without the “You,” there isn’t a team, or at least a team that is very successful.
See Michael’s book, You Are the Team—6 Simple Ways Teammates Can Go from Good to Great to help your team discover their “You.”