Every real estate team has its own unique identity. Some are characterized by a sense of friendly rivalry and competition, while others are more cutthroat. Some are small family-run outfits while others are large franchises. Whatever your team looks like, its identity is one of the key aspects to its success. So what happens when your team has an identity crisis?
The concept of the “identity crisis” was first put forward by psychologist Erik Erikson. He indicated that for a person to develop their own unique, fully-formed identity, they would eventually have to overcome various identity crises: internal conflicts concerning aspects of their personality, social groups, and worldview. An identity crisis is not so much a consequence as it is a stimulus; by pushing through a crisis of identity, an individual has a more complete sense of self-understanding.
As your team grows, it will inevitably encounter identity crises of its own. These might include major fluctuations in the market that impact your pipeline, radical changes in team composition, sustained challenges in production, or other serious problems that cause you or your team to doubt whether you are on the right track. But by (re)focusing on setting and achieving team goals, you can turn these periods of doubt into opportunities to refine and strengthen your team’s identity.
Why are goals so important to building team identity? Because ideally, goals should define everything you do in business. They are probably the largest single factor in creating a team identity. Being in business without clear goals is like driving a car with no steering wheel; yes you can move forward, but you won’t have any control over where you go. With clear goals, everyone on the team has a defined objective and a built-in community of people working toward the same purpose.
If your team is having a crisis of identity, it will become stronger if you pull the team together around a shared objective. Maybe your goals have to do with money-making activities like lead conversion, closings, or daily prospecting time. But maybe they don’t: maintaining positive speech in the office, or showing up for work by a particular time, or reading a motivational book together.
I’m not saying all your problems will be resolved by setting out a swear jar, but even a seemingly silly or trivial goal can help bring people together and rekindle the sense of camaraderie that is essential to a healthy team. Once people feel a sense of accomplishment from meeting one goal together, even a low-stakes one, they have greater buy-in for a larger goal and investment in seeing their teammates succeed.
I’ve seen this happen time and time again in the teams I work with around the country. Groups characterized by animosity or a sense of discouragement turn into harmonious, prosperous enterprises because team members make the choice to develop a positive group identity by focusing on goals.
Challenges are inevitable. The teams who succeed and prosper are the ones who turn an identity crisis into opportunity!
Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, a real estate consulting company that specializes in performance coaching and building highly effective teams. Contact email@example.com for more information and free downloadable resources.