Ditching Superiority: Tactical Ways To Build A Lateral Team Culture

by | Oct 3, 2022 | Team | 1 comment

Su•pe•ri•or•i•ty noun

1. The state of being superior.⁠

2. “An attempt to establish superiority over others.”⁠ ⁠

Superiority among your competitors is good.⁠ Superiority among your team is not.⁠ ⁠

Leaders with a superiority complex can have negative effects on both their team and business. Often, they do not recognize this behavior in themselves and are offended at even the implication it exists.⁠ ⁠

We need to remember that our own perceptions are not reality. Reality consists of the perceptions of both you and your team. If your team observes or feels inferior because of the way you act or treat them (even when unintentionally), the results can be a toxic team culture. ⁠ ⁠

Take a little moment to perform an honest self-audit: ⁠ ⁠

❔Do you show gratefulness to your team members?⁠

❔Are you reactionary when mistakes are made?⁠

❔Do you take time to connect with team members individually?⁠

❔Are you willing to listen to the ideas of your team?⁠

❔Are you overly critical?⁠ ⁠

Consider taking your self-audit a step further and asking for feedback from trusted advisors. Do they think you come across as superior? If you have uncovered any measure of superiority from these questions, it is time to take action.⁠ ⁠

Superiority is not leadership. Whether you have identified actions and thoughts you want to change or are learning about healthy team cultures, this post is for you.⁠

• First it is essential to acknowledge that as the leader, you create the precedent. Your team and business will reflect the values you exhibit, not the ones you choose for your business plan.⁠

• Your entire team needs to feel valued. Intentionally recognize the strengths of individual team members, praise them, and show gratitude for their work. Also, communicating respectfully, showing interest in their lives outside of the office, and revealing your humble side now and again will go a long way in building strong connections. ⁠

• When hiring, hire individuals who fully align with the core values of your business. While interviewing candidates, consider more than their education and credentials. What soft skills do they possess? Are they team players?⁠

• Create a laterally focused team. Listen when team members have questions, ideas, or concerns. Build trust with team members by implementing their ideas and delegating responsibility. Encourage your team to treat each other respectfully. Provide learning and career advancement opportunities. ⁠

All of these ideas provide the opportunity to take small, actionable efforts towards change. A team culture devoid of superiority THRIVES. ⁠

What are your thoughts on superiority in the workplace?

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