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Can you say you truly care about the individuals on your team?

Yes, I did just ask that. Let me share some thoughts on this while you contemplate your answer.

Have you ever read the book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni?  If not, I wholeheartedly recommend it.  It’s a quick read and very interesting – not your typical business book.

See, there’s a small (but MAJOR) difference between a team and a high performance team:

– A team is committed to collective goals and holds each other accountable

– A high performance team does all that, AND truly cares about the well-being, growth, and success of the other individuals on the team.

So, can you say you truly care about the individuals on your team?

I remember working for a bigger company where I interacted with dozens of people. While I cared about many of my teammates,I obviously couldn’t have a deep connection with everyone. If someone had asked me that question back then, my answer would have been “no.”

But I challenge you to think about your closest team members, those that you work with every day.  Are you cultivating a high performance attitude together? One in which you truly care?

Every week, our Compass Point team has a “health” check in.  We rate ourselves on a scale of 1-10 in the categories of:

– Professional health (work, business relationships, growth)

– Personal health (mental, emotional, spiritual, home)

– Physical health (body, energy, self-care)

Rating ourselves on how we feel regarding work is not a big leap. Sharing feelings or personal challenges with your team however is another story.  Imagine sharing how:

– How you are truly feeling regarding clients and the workload

– How an interaction with a customer really derailed your confidence

– You feel overwhelmed at work…at home…both really

I realize that for some this is a terrifying thought. For others, it may even seem trivial. In general teams likely don’t do this, but here is why you should reconsider.

1.     Sharing these feelings gets the team talking. They can pump you up when you’re feeling down. They can help you work through lessons you learned (or need to learn). They can celebrate wins with you. Nothing bad can come of this, in my opinion. You may even learn that you are not alone in what you are feeling.

2.     Rating ourselves makes us stretch. Sharing ratings about work is a simple topic for most. Yet, when I suggest they open up about something more personal or about their health, teams look at me like deer in the headlights. Is that something you share with your team? Is it comfortable?

3.     Trust forges a stronger team. Practicing honesty with your team and get things out on the table means you’re keeping the drama or angst from getting a foothold and festering into something bigger.

So what does Compass Point do? (You know you want to know….)

After we do our “health check in” on professional, personal, and physical health, we then tell our team which of the 6 high performance habits we are working on, why it’s important, and how we are making a focused effort on that habit. Doing this simple, yet uncomfortable check-in is like a release valve and lets us recalibrate as a team.

We all have bad days, right? Maybe our health has been off and we’re really lacking energy. Maybe we had a fight with our spouse the night before. Maybe something serious is going on in your personal life and you’re just not up to “CRUSHING IT” at work lately.  Maybe you’re super pregnant and just exhausted (doesn’t sound like anyone I know!).  It doesn’t mean you have checked out, it just means you need some grace.

Imagine feeling this way and having a team that doesn’t know it. They are left to assume why you’re kind of stinking at your job lately. “Hey, Cheyenne hasn’t hit her daily goal in over a week. What a slacker!”  When really, I might be doing everything I can just to stay afloat. Been there?

Pat Lencioni teaches us that having vulnerability-based trust with your team members is the fastest way to becoming a high performance team. Creating that trust allows us to say “I made a mistake. I need help. I’m not feeling myself.”  It’s not an excuse. It’s a check in and the agreement is that our team supports and helps us – not judges us.

The ABSOLUTE FREEDOM you feel from being on a team like this is UNREAL.

So start small. We always have our clients share personal and professional good news with each other when we start our meetings. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of teams out there that don’t know the slightest thing about one another.

You don’t need to bare ALL. Just be HUMAN. I mean, you spend a third of your life at work! You should feel like you belong and that your team has your back.

So, here’s your homework:

1.     Watch this Pat Lencioni video about the Five Dysfunctions

2. If you liked what you heard, get the book. I’m telling you it’s a super easy read!

3. Email me and tell me what you have implemented within your team. I’ll cheer you on! 🙂




Cheyenne Bennett profile picture
Cheyenne Sweeney

Cheyenne’s passion for serving people is evident in her gift for engaging the entire management team – from the owner to key executives during business sessions. Always having an interest in self-awareness and leadership, she helps teams better understand their role in the overall business strategy and company culture. 

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