A Laundry List of “Level Two” Clues

In previous posts about the Four Levels of Maturity, we’ve explored the notion that Level 2 (Independent) is the most dangerous.

At Level 2, people are generally:

  • correct
  • justified
  • able to blame problems on others
  • technically in compliance with standards and rules

This is a dangerous place for a team member to be, because they’re not really working to be in sync with others. They tend to find reasons to avoid that, and instead keep their heads down and focus only on their own work.

Because people tend to be “right” at Level 2, it’s sometimes hard to spot their destructive behavior. Review the phrases below to determine if you are dealing with a Level 2 team member:

“That’s not my job.”

“I’ll finish this first, then I’ll see what you’ve got for me to do.”

“It’s not my fault – they didn’t get their part done for me in time.”

“That’s just the way I am – if you’re going to work with me, you better get used to it.”

“That’s just the way he is – I see no point in trying to get along with him.”

“How can you make it easy for me?”

“I survived it – so will you.”

“This is my system – learn to live with it.”

“I show you respect once you show me respect.”

“That will teach them a lesson.”

“That makes it even.”

“She deserves what she’s got coming.”

“You made your bed, now lie in it.”

What now? Well, inspire folks acting at Level 2 (Independent) with a specific and clear invitation to Level 3 (Cooperative), like this:

“Can you please check in with anyone who has deliverables for you? Ask them if they’d like a deadline from you. Let me know what you find out. We’ve got to work together on this. Thanks!”

“Will you please take a break from that and help me clean the break room?”

“Will you please take a break from that and help Kweku with the TPS reports? They’re a little behind, and getting them in on time would be beneficial for all of us.”

If you see the Level 2 team member, and respond by shaking your head and starting to think about how much they’re holding the team back, realize that you’re actually joining them at Level 2.

Invite them to Level 3 (Cooperative) by asking them to cooperate.

It may be just that easy. Give it a shot.

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