Team Effectiveness: How to Utilise Different Perspectives

Put the same problem in front of 10 different groups in any organisation and they will all view it differently.  We all, to a greater or lesser extent view things through our own unique lens or perspective.

Let’s look at something that is probably quite topical in organisations right now, which is cost reduction.  One area of commonality is that every individual or group will be thinking what does it me for me or us. 

On the other hand if you asked people for their views on how others might view the issue, you might hear something like the following:

“The accountants will be in their element and finally feel like they are doing something useful”

“At last an opportunity to reign in those rogues in sales and marketing who never pay attention to any financial procedures”

“The CEO is only interested in engaging us to save his or her own skin”

“I hope that they don’t expect us to contribute as we are already cut to the bone in terms of staffing”

“No doubt it will be the lowest paid and least respected that will get a rough deal”

So if you are the leader who is trying to move things forward, how can you utilise these different perspectives?

Listen a lot

The real challenge is to get to the heart of the issue and that requires you to listen.  You often find that what they are presenting as the surface level problem is not the real issue.

Ask questions

Questions are another great way of really understanding the different perspectives.  Combine this with great listening and you are going to be well ahead of most.

Stand back from the detail

It is all too easy when times are tough and difficult choices need to be made to unconsciously become a collaborator.  While you need to listen and understand, don’t let it result in you losing sight of the issue or challenge.

Be open

In organisations, it is often the people closest to the point of delivery that come up with the best solutions.  Be open to these opportunities rather than needing to be right.

Bottom Line – We all to a greater or lesser extent view challenges through one lens. The challenge to be more successful when it comes to team effectiveness is learning to understand and utilise the different perspectives.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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