A manager of a sales team was frustrated spending time addressing team conflict. The sales team wasn’t getting along well, there was unresolved infighting, and conflict was hindering communication and stalling sales numbers. The team members had unintentionally developed a culture that was getting in the way of people performing at their best.
In this case, we used an assessment to determine that this team didn’t value differences and made inaccurate assumptions about each others’ intentions. When we conducted a debrief session, the team began to understand that their culture didn’t allow for individual differences. One person was often devalued for having a very different style — yet this person’s voice offered a valuable perceptive on team culture, communication and functioning. The team members also didn’t listen well to each other and didn’t fully understand how this inability to listen and collaborate impacted their sales process, ability to solve customer problems, and sales numbers.
Through our work, the team created a new, more inclusive culture by merging their individual differences and valuing flexibility, open-mindedness and collaboration. Individual team members moved out of their personal agendas into an understanding that listening to different opinions and perspectives increased their productivity. As a collaborative unit, they solved customer problems more quickly and easily. They were able to shift the energy they had expended on team infighting and focus it on managing their sales pipeline and closing deals.