You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, and Get Stuff Done
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More About This Title You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, and Get Stuff Done


Five common problems your team is susceptible to—and the one thing you can do to fix all of them

There are so many ways a team can go wrong. Does your team make decisions so slowly that nothing ever gets done, or does it go too fast and miss critical issues that come back to bite you later? Does your team bicker endlessly or smile and nod while avoiding the tough issues? Too often, team dysfunction leads to abysmal productivity and zero innovation for your organization, as well as misery and wasted time for you. Most team members sit and wait, feeling trapped in a team that just isn't working. You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, and Get Stuff Done presents a radical new idea: you can change your team. Author Liane Davey shows how you, from any seat at the table, even without support from your colleagues or your team leader, can transform even a toxic team. It starts with living up to five responsibilities that will change the workings of even the most dysfunctional team.

  • Addresses the five most common ways your team can become toxic
  • Gives you a diagnostic to see if your team is at risk
  • Doles out practical suggestions to deal with the crisis in the short-term
  • Instructs you on how to disrupt the patterns that leave you in an endless cycle of dysfunction
  • Replaces those patterns with positive interactions and even productive conflict
  • Gives you the right words to say to change your team for the better—starting today
  • Written by Liane Davey, PhD, a highly sought-after consultant and Principal of Knightsbridge Leadership Solutions and the Vice President of Global Solutions and Team Effectiveness

Designed for front line employees, middle managers, executives, or anyone who works regularly in teams, You First will help you figure out how to make your team happier, healthier, and more productive.


LIANE DAVEY, PhD, is a Principal of Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions, Inc. and the Vice President for Global Solutions and Team Effectiveness. She is sought out by executives at some of North America's leading financial services, consumer goods, high-tech, and healthcare organizations to rehabilitate teams that have become toxic and to work with healthy teams that want to take their performance to the next level. A dynamic keynote speaker, Liane takes her message about vital teams to leaders at conferences and management retreats around the world.She is the coauthor of Leadership Solutions.


Chapter 1 Change Yourself, Change Your Team 1

The Great Promise of Teams 3

The Sad Reality of Teams 4

Teams Are Here to Stay 4

What I’ve Learned about Fixing Teams 5

There’s One Catch 7

The Road Ahead 8

Change Your Team 10

Chapter 2 Toxic Teams 13

How Sick Is Your Team? 19

Coping 20

Chapter 3 The Crisis Junkie Team 23

The Value of Crisis 27

Origins of a Crisis Junkie Problem 28

Impact of Being a Crisis Junkie Team 30

Diagnostic 33

Triage and Emergency Medicine 34

Chapter 4 The Bobble Head Team 39

The Desire for Harmony 44

Origins of a Bobble Head Problem 45

Impact of Being a Bobble Head Team 47

Diagnostic 49

Triage and Emergency Medicine 49

Chapter 5 The Spectator Team 55

Overload 59

Origins of a Spectator Team 60

Impact of Being a Spectator Team 62

Diagnostic 63

Triage and Emergency Medicine 64

Chapter 6 The Bleeding Back Team 69

Civility 73

Origins of a Bleeding Back Team 74

Impact of Being a Bleeding Back Team 76

Diagnostic 79

Triage and Emergency Medicine 79

Chapter 7 The Royal Rumble Team 85

Engagement 89

Origins of a Royal Rumble Team 90

Impact of Being a Royal Rumble Team 92

Diagnostic 94

Triage and Emergency Medicine 94

Chapter 8 The You in Team 101

Team Building 103

It’s about You 106

Your Responsibilities 107

Chapter 9 Start with a Positive Assumption 111

It’s Over before It’s Begun 113

Start with a Positive Assumption 119

Competence, Reliability, and Integrity of Your Teammates 126

Health Check: Are You Starting with a Positive Assumption? 128

Chapter 10 Add Your Full Value 131

Pale Imitations 134

Add Your Full Value 138

A Word about Vulnerability 145

Adding the Wrong Value 148

Health Check: Are You Adding Your Full Value? 149

Chapter 11 Amplify Other Voices 153

The Need for Speed 156

Drowning Out Minority Voices—The Power and the Peril of the Majority 157

The Importance of Diversity 159

Amplify Other Voices 162

What Is Diverse? 168

Health Check: Are You Amplifying Other Voices? 169

Chapter 12 Know When to Say “No” 173

Spread Too Thin 176

Know When to Say “No” 181

How to Say “No” 187

Help! It Didn’t Work 189

Times to Say “Yes” 190

Health Check: Do You Know When to Say “No?” 191

Chapter 13 Embrace Productive Conflict 193

We Stink at Conflict 197

Why We Don’t Fight the Good Fight 198

Embrace Productive Conflict 201

The Path Forward 203

Health Check: Are You Embracing Productive Conflict? 211

Chapter 14 You First 215

Notes 223

Acknowledgments 225

About the Author 227

About Knightsbridge 228

Index 229