When I work with teams, I often hear the simile that their team is just like family.
While aspiring to be a tight-knit family might be nice in theory, it has some drawbacks:
- Families always have drama. I haven’t met a family that doesn’t have some drama going on – and it gets exponentially worse as the family talks about it behind each others’ backs!
- Feedback is harder. Let’s face it. It’s hard to come down on your brother-in-law for non-performance. Families tend to look the other way until it gets so bad, you need an intervention!
- You can’t fire family. Your mother will always be your mother – regardless of what you say or do.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings constantly reminds his staff that they are a “team, not a family.” If you promote a family philosophy, you foster an entitlement mentality.
Why not characterize your “family” as a “tight-knit team” where your team defines the ground rules, reinforces performance and you avoid these drawbacks?
Photo credit – Istockphoto.com