Are any of our project results delayed or jeopardized by key technical contributor(s) who lack interpersonal and team building skills?

Maximizing the leverage of key technical contributors starts by showing full respect for their individual initiative/productivity and then illustrating how they can add joint productivity to their skill mix and make an even bigger impact.

Much conflict is generated when the organization is trying to adapt to rapid change, increase innovation, implement new organization strategies, increase sales, transform the organization’s culture, etc. During these critical times in the organizations life cycle, what happens if the people don’t trust* others enough to reveal their best ideas to them or don’t trust* themselves enough to effectively challenge the ideas of others?

Our research conducted with 1100 seminar participants revealed that 34% of the time*, old ideas get “locked in,” or new ideas get “locked out.” Here are the two main causes of this alarming statistic:

  • People don’t trust others enough to reveal their best ideas to them, or
  • People don’t trust their own ability to effectively challenge the ideas of others.

The key to “unblocking” the effect of the key technical contributor(s) is to respect their individual initiative but give them a bigger goal and targeted coaching. Here is the question to ask them: How can YOU…Unleash individual initiative to create novel, high potential solutions or pathways while…Developing a harmonious and cooperative team for achieving ongoing organization objectives? The critical success ingredients for both leaders and participants to convert conflict into an innovative outcome are …

  • A belief system that is comfortable with conflict, values its potential for good and encourages the competition of ideas; and
  • Communication skills for exploring conflicting ideas and guiding people through the discussions necessary to select the best among the competing ideas.

These two ingredients are well summarized by a former VP of Motorola and client of ours, Bob Solem, who coined our motto:

“Let Ideas Compete—Not People!”

Reasons for Disappointing Results From Training Efforts:

To adapt behavior requires a corresponding shift in the beliefs and feelings behind the behavior and without some insight causing a shift in beliefs and feelings, a person has to force themselves to change. When forced, a person loses internal congruity and external integrity with others – they feel and look phony. The person, whether “forced by others or themselves, soon reverts back to their comfort zone, opportunities for improvement are lost, and future training is resisted.

Methods For Getting Excellent Results From Training Efforts:

Success comes when the person experiences some insight causing a shift in beliefs and feelings about their present behavior. The key steps in coaching the key technical contributor are to assist the learner in the following self-discovery steps:

  • Discovering that my predominate style works and has consequences to my job, relationships, career, and life style.
  • Discovering when this same style doesn’t work and causes me to experience less support and lower joint productivity.
  • Discovering new choices for expressing my talent, reducing my stress and effectively guiding team efforts.
  • Discovering belief and trust issues that would enable me to increase joint productivity and the innovative content of my/our results.

I have been through all the storming stuff and I can mentor the most difficult experts. My first job with GE was finding slots for engineers and I have worked with them my entire career. I have also worked off and on with paramilitary organizations.

I am battle tested, love the challenge and have spent my entire career helping great individual contributors learn to leverage their talent with and through others! Call me.

Contact Us

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