Feed Lot

MAR 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

Issue link: http://feedlotmagazine.epubxp.com/i/948915

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Page 15 of 31

Building teamwork is tough. It doesn't come naturally to work as a cohesive team where everyone looks out for each other, no one leaves until everyone is done for the day, the standards are high, and each person holds themselves and others accountable. In his seminal book, The 5 Dys- functions of a Team, Pat Lencioni covers the key areas of teamwork from a "dysfunctional" standpoint to emphasize the damage that oc- curs to teams when they are not managed properly or embraced by the team members. He structures the five dysfunctions into a pyra- mid to help understand the impact of each. The base of the pyramid is the Absence of Trust. Without Trust, the pursuit of individual goals and status degrades the focus on group success. Trust is the foundation for teamwork because we must have it for transparency, honesty and the ability to say, "I screwed up." The next tier of the pyramid working from the bottom is the Fear of Conflict. This is the inap- propriate desire to preserve artifi- cial harmony, which in turn stifles opportunities for productive ex- change of ideas, strategies and philosophies. Conflict needs to be treated as a good, productive, open discussion of signifi- cant ideas and opportu- nities. When Conflict i s f e a r e d , m a n y great ideas are never even thought of, let alone shared or implemented. In the middle of the pyramid is Lack of Commitment. This pre- vents team members from making decisions they will stick to and di- minishes the desire to follow through on decisions. Without Commitment, people might tend to agree to do certain things, but end up going their own direction. Goals are ineffective. Commitment needs clarity and buy-in to be effective. The fourth level from the bottom of the pyramid is Avoidance of Ac- countability. This is defined as the need to avoid interpersonal discom- fort, preventing team members from holding one another account- able. If Accountability is not a focus of our teamwork, then we can't reach our goals. Team members need to hold each other account- able for everyone to feel a sense of fairness, loyalty and equity. It is next to the top of the pyramid because it is one of the hardest to do. Your people probably don't feel comfort- able telling a coworker, "I don't think you've been pulling your weight lately…" They may say this when they are fed up, but it isn't done in a tactful and frank manner intended to help that person get back on track and enhance the re- sults of the entire team. More than likely, they tell every- one else on the feedlot that they don't think someone is pulling their weight, but MANAGEMENT By DON TYLER, TYLER & ASSOCIATES 16 FEED•LOT  March 2018 they never tell that person directly, creating a toxic environment. Re- member the need for Trust as the foundation of our pyramid? That's why it is so important at these high- er, difficult levels. The top tier of the dysfunction- ality pyramid is Inattention to Re- sults. This is the inappropriate pursuit of individual goals and personal status that erodes the fo- cus on collective success. If we aren't focused on results our em- ployees won't know what they are shooting for and become distract- ed by their day-to-day challenges, getting their own job done and im- mediately going home, avoiding opportunities to help others, and simply putting in their time. It's in- teresting that if we are good at the four lower levels of the pyramid— Trust, Conflict, Commitment and Accountability—Results happen almost automatically. This is a very brief summary of Lencioni's great book. Because the book has been incredibly valuable to many businesses, a new tool has been developed to help teams un- derstand how they score in each of these five areas. The tool is com- puterized, providing extensive re- ports for each individual as well as to the team as a whole, to facilitate the process they must go through to strengthen their team and max- imize their full potential. If you think this tool might be useful for your managers, employ- ees, family or other groups, contact me and I can walk you through some options. Don Tyler is founder of Tyler & Associ- ates Management Coaching. He can be reached at dhtyler@frontiernet.net or by calling 765-490-0353. FL STRENGTHENING TEAMWORK

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