Commitment is an important trait every team should have. A team without commitment revisits discussions again and again. They have a fear of failure, and they have ambiguity about the direction and priorities.
What is commitment?
Suppose we look at commitment in the context of a team. We see it as a function of two things: clarity and buy-in. Great teams don't need to revisit their decisions. They have a clear and shared vision about the decisions and know what steps to take to move forward.
What causes a lack of commitment?
The two most significant causes for lack of commitment are the desire for consensus and the need for certainty before making a decision.
The best teams know the danger of seeking consensus. We are all human beings, and we must understand that we do not require consensus to create buy-in. Everyone's ideas must be heard and considered. When every idea is genuinely considered, it creates a willingness to rally around the decision. Choosing the right decision can be a challenge. You may go into conflict with one of your team members. Do not hesitate to this conflict. Having a healthy conflict around an idea or decision is good! I wrote about why having a conflict is beneficial for your team if you want to learn more.
The need for certainty
A killer team knows there will always be uncertainty when taking steps forward. Do not fall into the trap of needing more certainty. The more you know, the more you realize what you don't know.
It is better to make a wrong decision and then change direction with all the new information you've gathered. You can reflect on your decisions by running a focused retrospective.
Remember one thing. Making the right decision for that particular moment is a good decision. If you learn more on the way and need to change direction, do so! You are going to make a decision every day of your life. If you postpone every decision until you know enough, the window of opportunity could be closed, and you are still in the same spot.
How to create more commitment?
A team with a lack of commitment can build it! Below are some tips on creating more commitment within your team.
At the end of every meeting, review all the key decisions, and agree on what will be communicated to other company employees. During this exercise, team members learn that they are not on the same page. They need more clarification on the decisions and their specific outcomes before putting them into action.
At the end of your meeting, you'll have a list of decisions, their required outcomes, and what will be communicated to other employees.
Deadlines are simple but effective. Like almost every human, we tend to wait until the deadline is near before we take action. That is why setting deadlines are so powerful. So when a decision needs to be made. Set a clear deadline and honor those dates with discipline and rigidity. When you fail to keep deadlines, is it even a deadline when you can postpone a decision? NO!
Timing is the most critical factor that should not have ambiguity if you create a plan. So, set dates for every step from the beginning. This way, you move your team in the direction you've decided.
Contingency and worst-case scenario analysis
Suppose a team struggles to make a decision. You can clarify the worst-case scenario if the team would make this decision. The worst-case scenario analysis reduces the team's fears of making the wrong decision and shows that it is far less damaging than they imagined.
The commitment of a team is essential to keep moving forward and taking opportunities when they appear. The team will learn quickly about their decisions if they are wrong. Not deciding at all is a greater risk than making a bad decision and rapidly changing direction again.
Recap every meeting with the decisions that are made. Reflect on past decisions, decide fast on a wrong decision, and set deadlines for your team and yourself to keep moving forward. When the team is scared to decide, try to picture the worst-case scenario and see if it would harm your team or the company.
A team with outstanding commitment will be a team that achieves the absolute maximum!