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People lose influence with me when I begin to notice a lack of alignment in agenda. I am always open to feedback from those who are going where I am going but I am not open to feedback from those who are following a different path. This is different than not listening to those who disagree. I can disagree with people who are on the same page with me about the big vision. The disagreement on the small things is smaller than those who disagree about what I stand for or what I am moving the team toward. People who knowingly lack an alignment with the team’s agenda should never feel entitled to any influence on the direction of the team. Unfortunately, they often do and this creates unnecessary frustration.
Teammates who fail to develop relationships often miss the correlation between relationship and influence and therefore get frustrated with their perceived lack of influence. It can be frustrating to realize that you do not have as much influence as you thought you had. That’s because it’s a commentary on the existing relationship. Depth of relationship can be subjective and different on either side. The deepest relationship on one side can be shallow in comparison to what the other is experiencing. A person who I consider to be in my closest circle and therefore has the highest level of influence over me may not automatically consider me in their closest circle if they have deeper relationships beyond me. Influence can be uneven and great teammates understand that.
Every team dynamic is made up of overlapping circles of influence. Leaders who develop relationships with their teammates are often given the benefit-of-the-doubt where others in leadership are not. The same is true of those who choose to develop a rapport and relationship with the leader of their team. People are always more influenced by those who they know have their best interests in mind. Those people are counted on to weigh in on decisions and direction because their influence grows as the relationships deepen. As team’s experience various trials and circumstances together, they begin to develop a natural connection over those past experiences and that causes the influence between them to grow.