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Commitment vs. Compliance

Commitment vs. Compliance
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Do you feel a shortage of positive energy in your workplace? Is productivity lagging  Are  your team members complacent?  If the answer is yes to any of these, you could have a problem with commitment on your team.

Commitment is the by-product of a safe, relationship oriented culture. Dr. Judith Glaser describes this environment as being one that is co-creative. It is built on trust and vulnerability.  Hallmarks of this team culture are shared wisdom, innovation, strategy, and empathy. Under pressure these teams pull together to solve problems. A cautionary suggestion for these teams is to be sure that they stay on task.

On the other hand, compliance in the workplace can be a tell-tale sign of a highly task-oriented culture. Compliance is showing up, putting in your time, but not being totally engaged. This environment is usually low in trust and often elicits the fight, flight, freeze, or appease response to leadership. Under pressure these teams and people silo as a defensive measure. These environments tend to be highly skeptical and cynical, resulting in a lack of proactive energy and poor employee retention rates.

Moving people and teams from  compliance to commitment involves understanding the nature of the leadership as well as the nature of the members of the team. The Fiedler Contingency Model, developed by Dr. Fred Fiedler in the 90’s, proposed a method for helping leaders determine the best strategy for creating better synergy between leadership and team members, and thus greater accomplishment.  

One of the predominant themes in this model is the nature of the relationship between leaders and team member. If that relationship is mutually good, the team can be effective with either a task or relationship orientation. However, if that relationship is poor, no amount of task-orientation will create a more committed work environment. A highly autocratic approach to leadership does not engender commitment when the leader-member relationship is poor.

Are your leaders fostering an environment of compliance or commitment?  Can you help create a more trusting, vulnerable, empowering, co-creating workplace?  

Learn more and grow with a community of like minded leaders at our upcoming seminar in Chicago, January 26 – 27, 2018.