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Powerful Team Development Programme in Africa

Lone Voices

Being heard in your working group or team is not always easy. This is especially the case when you are the only person in the group trying vainly to get a specific point across to your colleagues. No one seems very keen to listen to your input. You are not supported, and your lone voice falters and then fades away.

Some individuals may well persevere, but others may feel slightly intimidated. They may simply become resigned to the inevitable and decide to keep their thoughts to themselves. This will happen almost automatically when such incidents keep recurring - and the person concerned thinks “Well, why bother…”

The real pity is not just how the individual feels in terms of a loss of interest and motivation, but also that an important and valuable contribution may very well have been overlooked.

So, for example, there may be just one person in the team who has a strong preference for estimating feasibility. The rest of the team may be overwhelmingly in favour of driving onward as their main priority. Unless these team members are disciplined enough to listen to the lone voice, there is a real danger that the team’s planning may not be thorough and the wheels will inevitably come off at a later stage.

The fact that the other members of the group have either ignored or not seen any value in the point that the lone voice has been trying to make, may relate to nothing more sinister than the fact that the these team members have different preferences for getting things done.

For a team to work in a disciplined way they will need to agree and commit to using a common and mutually understood approach to goal achievement. Once this commitment and understanding has been reached, then it matters little how perfectly balanced or unbalanced a team is in terms of its mix of contribution preferences. The lone voice wishing only to plan ahead will not be silenced by a majority of colleagues preferring to enable action… provided that the group works to one model or process requiring and ensuring that all voices are heard equally.

By using a common and disciplined approach to getting things done, you will find that the team you are in now is the best team that you will ever be in. Not only will the lone voices get their equal opportunity to contribute… their contribution will now be understood and appreciated by the group as a whole.

The Achievement Process identifies lone voices, and then accords them full and equal value with all other contribution preferences. Individuals are more motivated and the team thrives.

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