This post is part of the “Leading A Frustrated Team” series.
Frustration is one of those things that can never be separated from leadership. It is inevitable. Frustration can be the result of being overwhelmed. At other times not having enough support or clarity… Whatever the case, it can be harmful if it is not addressed and festers.
When leaders don’t pay attention to their team’s frustration, they nurture it. Frustrated teams are unhealthy and unproductive teams. Unhealthy and unproductive teams fail to meet the needs of those they serve in a satisfactory manner.
Leading a frustrated team is something every leader has to embrace as part of the job. However, it doesn’t have to be exclusively the leaders’ responsibility. When teams and their leaders work together to discuss frustration and its causes, resolution is not far.
In the midst of frustration leaders, and teams, tend to focus on dealing with the frustration. Both the team and leader need to engage and determine what caused the frustration. Leaders must be careful not to get so caught up in getting rid of the frustration that they overlook dealing with its cause.
Map | How
If you don’t identify the reasons for your teams’ frustration you are bound to repeat them. This means wasting valuable resources by diverting your attention to the problems instead of serving your beneficiaries. Both leaders and teams must be able to come to the table to determine how they arrived there. But that is only the first step.
Ground Rules and Fences
Both parties need to set ground rules. There must be agreement on how future resulting frustration from similar issues will be handled. Fences must be put in place. Placing self-sustaining systems solves some problems. New ways may need to be put in place. Perhaps a clarification of roles might be needed.
Agree what steps you will take in the event conflict happens because of frustration. Conflict resolution will never be effective if it isn’t based on agreed terms. There are rules in boxing ;-)
Leading frustrated teams requires open and honest appraisal. Leaders must create a platform where they can engage their teams in determining the cause of their frustration. The next step is to place boundaries and agreed steps to preventing the same being repeated. There must also be agreement on how repeated occurrences will be handled.