A resource to help Student-Athlete Leaders (captains) embrace healthy conflict and enhance accountability with their teammates
We have all been there...
You are an upper-classman on the team. Your skills probably won't take you to the pros but you are a solid player. You are the classic "lead by example" type, always giving positive energy to your teammates.
Your team is 18-5 and preparing for playoffs. Two very talented sophomores have taken the team to another level with their unique offensive skills. Although, they wouldn't be described as great "team players".
During practice the day before your first playoff game, your team goes through a series of shell drills. The team is split on both ends of the court. The head coach is at one end, and you (as the team captain) are leading the drill at the other end. One of the talented sophomores let's it be known that he has no interest in the drill...especially with the coach at the other end. He's late on every rotation, won't stay in his stance, and barely communicates with his teammates.
As a lead-by-example type of captain, you try to positively encourage the whole team, but it has no effect on the talented sophomore. You feel the resentment building from other players, yet no one says a word. You consider the impact of calling him out, but eventually decide to let it slide, reasoning with yourself that you don't want to mess up the team chemistry before the big game.
Now take a second to reflect; how have you responded in the past to similar situations?
I'm sure you can relate to the scenario above. Everyone has a person on their team that sucks the energy from the team with their poor behavior. Unfortunately, this is more common than not with teams...in sports and in the boardroom.
Situations like this have two problems...(1) your lead-by-example style is not effective, and (2) your teammates are scared to give constructive feedback to one another.
This type of situation leads to a team filled with resentment, grudges, and interpersonal conflict. "Artificial harmony" and low accountability prospers during meetings and practice, and the result is toxic conversations in the locker room or at the water cooler.
Equipping leaders with the tools of how to overcome these issues is a skill set that can set your team apart from the competition.
I just finished the book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and can't recommend it enough to help the leaders on your team to identify and address the fundamental issues that hold teams back.
The book dives into the essential skills of building trust, dealing with conflict, commitment, accoutability, and focusing on team results instead of individual results.
If you are looking for a resource to challenge your team members to embrace open & honest discussions, enhance commitment, and encourage team members to hold each other accountable, this book could be a great resource in your toolbox.
Below is a summary of the 5 Dysfunctions:
If you're diggin the 5 Dysfunctions...pass on the love to a teammate and let us know on Twitter or FB.