“The key characteristics of these teams, as distinct from other types of virtual teams, include:
- they have team members who report to multiple bosses;
- they experience competing goals and divided loyalties across the vertical functions and horizontal team activities;
- they require a higher level of focus on aligning goals and roles to prevent gaps and overlaps;
- organizational complexity can increase the likelihood of conflict
These areas - goals, loyalty and increased possibility of conflict - are all key to be aware of as a matrixed leader. Today's post explores the topic of loyalty which is key in creating an environment where people go the extra mile. Loyalty is related to how we perceive connection and belonging. Last week I blogged on key activities for matrix team leaders - one on ones, regular team meetings virtually and where possible annual or semi-annual face to face meetings. Many of these play a key role in building connection and a sense of belonging with a team, even one that is interspersed.
Last week I also wrote about my own former expereince as a matrix leader in making a point (and sometimes feeling like I had to move mountains to create time and budget) to bring my own team which was sub-regional, across almost 10 countries, together for a short 2 day meeting every year. This time spent together, creating a sense of team and belonging, did enable people to go the extra mile, and really made my own work much easier. Peer connections often play as key a role in the sense of belonging and loyalty as does the connection with the leader.
Questions to consider:
What are the things you can do to create a sense of team? A sense of connection and loyalty?
What do you need to do (as a leader, or collectively) to make your team more visible to each member?
On a scale of 1-10 (with one being low, and ten being high) where is loyalty for each team member?
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About Jennifer: Jenn is the founder of Potentials Realized a Canadian based performance improvement company. We provide customized training and coaching supports for leaders and their teams in the areas of teamwork, coaching and mentoring skills, and leadership development. Jennifer is the author of From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013) and has helped develop leaders and teams globally since the early 1990s, first as a team leader herself, then as Program Director and internal consultant, and for the last 11 years through Potentials Realized as a trainer, consultant and coach. Jennifer offers both public programs for team leaders (The Teams365 Coaching Groups and Teams365 Leadership Foundations programs) and also works with organizations to build their own internal leadership and coaching programs.