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Does Your Leadership Behavior Foster Team Collaboration?

In previous posts featuring the thought leadership of Michael E. Frisina, PhD, president of The Frisina Group, we’ve touched on behavioral styles, communication and self-awareness as related to healthcare leadership. We recently reached out to Frisina for his perspective on collaboration, one of the three key behavior domains for leaders (the other two being self-awareness and connection).

He opened with: “High impact leaders are acutely sensitive to how their behaviors impact the performance of their team members. In fact, individual leader behavior is the singular most important predictor to a team’s performance.

Let’s pause on that for a moment. The most important predictor of a team’s performance is not the team’s collective skill set. Or the team’s capacity for self-direction and taking action. Nor is it how well team members interact with one another. Certainly these have an effect on a team’s outcomes, but the predictor of a team’s performance, and thereby results, is the leader’s own behavior.

For anyone who just experienced a moment of concern about leadership behavior while reading this, we have good news. Frisina indicates that these behaviors can be taught, learned and practiced daily. Which means anyone can develop the skills needed to engage teams for enhanced motivation, commitment and focus, and drive results at the highest levels.

The challenge for leaders in fostering collaboration is understanding that there is no single approach regarding the behavior dynamics of a team. No “one size fits all” strategy.  As explanation, Frisina referenced Dr. Bruce Tuckman’s research, which identified four necessary stages of team formation (forming, norming, storming and performing) a group of individuals must inevitably go through to become a cohesive team that delivers optimal results.

“To create a high degree of collaboration, leaders need to understand these four patterns of behavior and work to make them compatible in the team collaboration process. Otherwise, conflict will arise as a natural by-product of the struggle for control within the team,” Frisina emphasized.

For the newly-promoted leaders seeking to make an impact on driving team results from the get-go? Frisina offered this sage advice, “They will get in results what they create, and what they allow, in the performance of their team members.” Further, he pointed out that brain biology and brain physiology play a significant role in team success. A leader’s own behavior can support or disrupt a team member’s brain processes, and the work environment a leader specifically creates can turn key cognitive functions on or off, directly affecting outcomes.

“It is imperative for healthcare leaders to understand the key strategies of leading the brains of other people to the highest levels of performance and outcome, which impacts care quality, patient safety and patient experience,” Frisina stated.

Make the connection between behavior, brains and successful team collaboration at ACHE’s upcoming Physician Executives Forum Program, Improving Communication to Optimize Healthcare Outcomes, Friday, August 3, following the New York Cluster.

Michael E. Frisina will show you how to increase your leadership effectiveness through greater self-awareness, the key to opening the door of influence with others, and the connection to mutually beneficial and meaningful purpose for driving performance to the highest levels. Seats are still available! Register now!

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