Coaching Employees toward More Effective Behaviors
We are rewriting our compliance handbook right now. I have a team of four people assigned from four departments: marketing, financial advising, compliance and client services. The infighting is extreme. This is a critical project. How do I get them to work together more effectively?
Too many times a team is just told what to do but not given guidelines for how to do it or how to work together. For example, you have told them to rewrite the compliance guidebook as a team, but have you chosen a leader of the team? Have you given them very specific parameters and expectations about the project and milestones for what’s due and when? Do you have people on the team with competing interests? (If both marketing and compliance are represented, I’m going to guess that’s a “yes”!) If so, have you talked to them together about your overall expectations? Are these people who have worked together before so they have some level of trust and understanding of one another?
Whenever I have a team working on a goal, I want them to focus on two things: the plan to achieve the goal and the plan to work together effectively. Perhaps you could give them some coaching on the “how to work together” part.
This often includes:
- Assigning roles to team members (leader, time keeper, note taker, facilitator, etc.). A person can play more than one role.
- Asking the team to talk about their own strengths and weaknesses and how they like to work within a team. This requires ignoring the project for a moment, and inquiring about the “who and how.”
- Asking for periodic updates on progress – assign someone the task of providing these updates.
- Visiting their team meetings once in a while to answer questions or give updates. Do not micro-manage or do the work.
Beverly Flaxington co-founded The Collaborative, a consulting firm devoted to business building for the financial services industry in 1995; in 2008 she co-founded Advisors Trusted Advisor to offer dedicated practice management resources to advisors, planners and wealth managers. She is currently an adjunct professor at Suffolk University teaching undergraduate students Leadership & Social Responsibility. Beverly is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA) and Certified Professional Values Analyst (CPVA).
She has spent over 25 years in the investment industry and has been featured in Selling Power Magazine and quoted in hundreds of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, Investment News and Solutions Magazine for the FPA. She speaks frequently at investment industry conferences and is a speaker for the CFA Institute.