Want High Performing Teams? Balance Tasks and Relationships

Managers; are you task or people-oriented?

Don’t worry, there’s no right or wrong answer. In the workplace, managers who focus on people help build good relationships and those who focus on tasks are the people who get things done.

But if you want to build a high performing team, you need to balance tasks and relationships. Being too far on either end of the spectrum can cause problems.

Task-oriented vs people-oriented managers

If you’re a task-oriented manager, you’ll:

·       Focus on your goals and to-do list

·       Be all about productivity and efficiency

People-oriented managers tend to:

  • Be concerned with building relationships and having a harmonious team
  • Think of people’s feelings and happiness as being more important than the tasks on their to-do list.

What happens when it gets out of balance? 

As a manager, I’m sure you have many hopes for your team, but at the top of the list is probably ‘I want a high performing team that gets along but also gets things done.’ To achieve this, there has to be a balance between people and tasks.

Have you ever been on a team where so much importance was placed on a task or project that the business values, mission, and team harmony went out of the window? Where employees became disengaged because they became burnt out and didn’t feel valued? Where the push for success came at the expense of happiness?

Or have you been in a situation where relationships took priority, so a manager didn’t have the respect of the team? Where cliques started forming?

Where managers tried to please everyone and ended up pleasing no one?

Where performance issues went unchecked?

If you want to create a high performing and harmonious team, there has to be balance.

Finding balance

So how do you balance your tasks and your people?

Take a look at your team

Look at the personalities in your team and the way people tend to work. Do you have a lot of task-oriented people or similar personalities that might knock things off balance?

If you’re task-oriented:

·       Be sure to schedule in time to check in with your people.

·       Consciously work on building and maintaining good relationships with your team by communicating openly and honestly with them, giving them regular praise and feedback, and getting to know them as people, not just employees.

·       When you do spend 1:1 time with team members, give them your undivided attention, really listen, and don’t be tempted to multitask.

If you’re people-oriented:

·       Realise that you don’t need to choose between having a harmonious team and getting things done.

·       Be firm but fair. Maintaining good relationships with your team doesn’t include overlooking poor performance or behaviour, so deal with these situations fairly and objectively.

·       Focus on rallying your team behind a common purpose and motivating them and inspiring them to get things done. Inspirational leaders are respected and effective leaders.

The message you need to take from this is that whichever end of the scale your management style falls on, your team does want to work, people do want to trust, develop, and do something with meaning. They want to be successful, and if it seems like something’s just not working, you have to ask, what’s getting in the way?

Your team members are capable and competent, so if something’s off-balance, you just need to tip the scales so that things start moving in the right direction again.

I can help.

I’m a business consultant with over 30 years’ experience of building and leading high-performing teams. I’m a safe pair of hands, I’ve been there and done that, and I know what’s needed to turn teams around and get them performing at their best.

I’ll help you get on top of your team issues and get everyone pulling in the same direction. I’ll give you the tools you need to build harmonious and productive teams, and I’ll help you feel positive and supported as you move forward.

If you have niggling team issues, let me be your team fixer.

Contact me today to find more about how my Team Turnaround package can help you.

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