What do people say about you and your team?

What is your team’s reputation like? How are you perceived as a team?

Reputation and how we are perceived matters. So as leaders and team members, we all need to raise our awareness of how we are perceived as a team. And then we need to take responsibility for the team’s reputation and brand, through our actions, behaviours and our ability to deliver.

Some common reasons for teams not being well perceived include:

  • Not being sure what is expected of them
  • Not delivering
  • Missed deadlines
  • Team making excuses and not being prepared
  • Demonstrating negative behaviour – talking behind each others backs
  • Not being able to do their job
  • Not working well together
  • Not correctly estimating what the job involves

When a team is not delivering, others don’t want to work with them or be dependent on them. Not delivering makes the team poorly received. It creates a lack of trust and the team gets a bad reputation. We all want to be part of a team that has a good reputation, right? It is also much harder to recruit into a team where there is reluctance to join.

Teams with a bad reputation will make it hard for other teams to do their job, impacting collaboration across the business as well as within the team.

When asking for help such a team may not get the help they need.

All of these reasons start to affect the team’s brand and maybe even the organisation’s brand and therefore its perceived value. A tarnished team or organisational brand has a harder time attracting investors, customers and top employees. Not managing reputation and brand carefully can be very expensive. So reputation affects the bottom line too.

“Think of others in the organisation as customers and notice how that mindset changes everything”

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn

Here are 7 solutions to building a team with a great reputation

  1. Create success habits

This can work well for a team who needs to focus on turning something from a negative to a positive. By creating a success habit, you are focussing your time and energy on something you WANT not what you don’t want; ie you decide on implementing a new practice/habit, which you know will drive a new positive outcome. Put the practise into place for at least 21 days to make it a team habit – that’s roughly how long it takes to create a new habit.

2. Take responsibility

Take responsibility for the team’s reputation, make conscious choices for your team on what you want to be known for and what success would look like for your team. Choose your responses to others rather than allowing the team to be on autopilot. Make decisions as a team, stand by them and back each other up.

3. Reframe learnings into better solutions

Teams can learn something new every day; there is great power in learning from each situation and turning results into a better solution.Simply seeing all results as learning, creates a team culture of continuous learning. When you find solutions where others may only see problems, others start to see that you are genuinely delivering.

4. Ask for feedback to understand perception

Go and find out what the perception of the team is. Ask people what they think of your team, ask them for feedback.

5. Set realistic, achievable goals

These need to be in line with the organisation’s vision. The plan for goal achievement needs to highlight strengths to use and areas to develop, while incorporating regular coaching and follow-up to make it a continuous loop of goals, plans, action and adjustment.

6. Manage your reputation

How a team is perceived creates their reputation, which needs to be managed rather than left to chance. Each team has an image whether they manage it or not, so take control of that image and reputation. Consider your stakeholders, what they expect, how you act and behave, what you deliver and hence what your reputation becomes.

7. Build your team’s brand

A brand is a concept, an expectation, which lives in the head of the customer/business partner/internal customer. To be successful it is important to be a reliable partner, to deliver a good experience for all your stakeholders. As a team you are responsible for the experiences you create. And if you don’t do it already, think of others in the organisation as customers (as customers are usually the stakeholders we focus on the most) and notice how that mindset changes everything.

Having a great team reputation matters – it builds relationships, it opens doors and rewards the team and its members. Go on, come together as a team and manage your brand – it pays off!

Author: Mandy and Elisabet

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