By Lt. Col. Jason O. Harris
Each day you walk into your office, are you giving consideration to what type of culture you are cultivating? Are you and your team of leaders aware that your actions will dictate whether you are cultivating a culture of compliance or a culture of connection, commitment, and community?
Daily, you are faced with important decisions, and how you handle those decisions as well as how you interact with your team, will dictate the culture. Your organization’s culture will ultimately determine what kind of experience your customers and clients will have.
If you were to be placed at the helm of a multimillion-dollar Air Force cargo jet or commercial airliner, under stress and other challenges, there is an absolute necessity for cohesiveness, communication, and commitment in order to be the high performance team required to operate these jets. You already have a great team, but is your team ready to handle their job along with the stress of combat? This is where it is critical to have the right skillsets that will enable you and your team to Trust the Training, Trust the Process and Trust the People.
Trust the Training, Trust the Process and Trust the People.
In order to cultivate cohesiveness, connection, and commitment in these fast-paced, high-performance teams, there are seven critical skillsets that are always present and encouraged.
If you or your organization are ready to soar to new heights, take a look at the seven skillsets and decide how you can apply personally and within your organizations.
1. Professional Knowledge
Professional knowledge is critical, and is the foundation to any high-performance individual and team. When your people are equipped with the professional knowledge essential to their jobs, it makes it easier to empower them and trust them to make decisions when things get challenging. Think about a professional pilot and consider how knowledgeable you want them to be. Would you consider your team trained to have that level of knowledge, to execute their job, when hundreds of lives are on the line?
2. Situational Awareness
Situational Awareness (or SA) is the ability to understand and comprehend environmental elements, events, and possible scenarios as it applies to time, space, and the collective comprehension of their possible interpretation. There are multiple types of SA to include individual, team, and organizational SA. In order to make the right decisions at the right time, it is critical that SA be present. SA has been cited as being fundamental to successful decision making in aviation, healthcare, emergency response and many other high stress environments. The lack of SA, according to scholarly documents, has been a driving factor in accidents attributed to human error. In order to keep your operation performing at its best and being positioned for continued improvement, your people need to have collective SA for any threats that might harm the operations. What kind of training has been put in place that helps to cultivate and reinforce this skillset?
Assertiveness is defined as confident, forceful, self-assured behavior. Further, assertiveness is being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. When it is time to make business decisions and the fate of your organization is on the line, like flying a commercial airliner with hundreds of passengers onboard, it is imperative that your people are trained, ready and willing to speak up and assert their voice to avert a disaster. When the success of your organization is on the line, your people need to be empowered to speak up and assert themselves, appropriately, to ensure the operation continues smoothly and, in many cases, in order for the operation to improve. Can your people trust that the leadership team will be ready to listen and acknowledge when they speak up and assert themselves for the greater good of the organization?
Decision-making is the process and action of making choices, especially important choices, by identifying a decision, gathering information, and assessing alternative possibilities. When you look at decision-making and its application to your environment and how it relates to high-performance teams, you need to be ready and able to make important and significant decisions. Sometimes these decisions will have to be made in very short order, without supervision. In order to make these time-sensitive decisions, your people will need to be empowered, knowing that they are prepared and trusted to make decisions that can be very critical to the operation and success of the organization. Consider what you can do to equip, prepare, and empower your people to make the right decision, in a moment’s notice, at the right time.
Communication is defined at the exchange of information or news. When it’s crunch time and critical decisions need to be made, whether in flight at 35,000feet in the air flying at 600 mph, or when a major deal is on the table for your organization, communication is absolutely essential. When it’s time to make decisions, given the time critical scenario, you want, need and expect your people to communicate. Have your people been empowered and trusted to communicate the critical information at the right time and right place?
Leadership is defined as the act of leading a group of people or an organization. Every organization, especially high performing organizations, need true and authentic leadership. They need leadership that is effective at all levels of execution. Leadership in your teams and organization has to be further defined as the people that influence others to accomplish the team and organizational objectives in a manner that makes the team more cohesive and more committed to each other, the mission at hand, and the organization.
Adaptability means being able to adjust to new conditions. When your organization or team is moving at the speed of success, it is imperative that members are adaptable. The organization has to empower its people to be ready and prepared to adapt to many different scenarios. When flying commercial jets across the world, there is likely to be some turbulence and there is likely to be some weather formations along the route. In order to get to the intended destination safely, the crew has to be adaptable to go over, under, and around the turbulence and thunderstorms. Being adaptable can only happen when the people have been empowered.
The next time you walk into your office, you should be clear on the culture you are cultivating! The seven skillsets laid out will support the cultivation of a culture of connection, commitment, and community. When you start to implement these seven skillsets your team will begin to soar to new heights, you and your team will begin to Trust the Training, Trust the Process and Trust the People!
This article was originally posted at linkedin.com
Lt. Col. Jason O. Harris is a faculty member of LEADERSHIP USA.