The Power of Voice, Contribution and Commitment

Are you using these three critical ingredients to build your team?


Alan Schaefer, founder of Banding People Together, a performance improvement company, discusses three essential ingredients when team building: voice, contribution and commitment.

Alan says that most leaders may not understand the power that voice has on team inclusion. Having a voice leads to contribution. Equally, individuals on the team who contribute often see how their involvement plays a part in the big picture of the team, which contributes significantly to commitment.

Watch this video on building a committed team.

So the way that we define collaboration is, it's a process governed by an agreed upon set of norms and behaviors that maximize individual contribution, create alignment, and increase productivity, while at the same time leveraging the collective intelligence of the group, or the team, or the organization.

So there's a lot of value to be had from the collaborative process beyond just what people think of, well we're going to have better ideas or we're going to innovate. No, this is about creating an environment where people want to be. So that when they're driving into work every morning, it's a get to and not a have to. So as human beings there are certain basic intrinsic motivators that we want and we're sort of piggy-backing off Maslow's hierarchy of needs, really basic things. So in our methodology and what we define is called true collaboration. And it's this science-based, music-infused methodology and at the core of it is voice, contribution and commitment. And true collaboration happens at the intersection of those three things.

And so when we talk about voice, it's creating an environment where everyone has a voice, which scares leaders because they go to this place of, "Wait a minute we're not going to get anything done, this is going to be ruled by majority and it's going to be slow." But when people have a voice, they can do something very powerful, they can contribute. And when they understand how their contribution fits into the big picture and they can feel and experience and see the impact that it makes, that's where they get to that place of commitment. That is that engagement nirvana that everyone is going after.

And so on a leadership level, I think it's wildly important that to think about as a leader, how do I create the optimal conditions where people have a voice, where people can contribute, where they understand their contribution? And so we can move people from this place of compliance to one of commitment. Because in a place of compliance, what gets leverage are things like rules, and consequences. And it's the quintessential status quo, nothing great happens, nothing egregious happens. When you move people to commitment, you're leveraging things like, very powerful things, you're leveraging purpose, you're leveraging belief. That's where the magic happens.

Alan Schaefer

Alan Schaefer is the president of Banding People Together, a performance improvement company that focuses on collaboration and the impact it has on leadership, team performance, employee engagement and change. He has been described as...

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