Are you continuously aligning the tasks and goals of your team with the overall vision and objectives of your organization? How important is team development in your organization? Are you creating an environment that allows people to be all they can be?
The subject of high-achieving teams is nothing new. The output of organizations large and small is still driven by collective effort. More than ever before, collaboration is the crucial element leading to success in today’s fast-growing companies. Every day brings new challenges and no one person, however smart and educated, can possess the complete solution. Teams must form, innovate, execute and deliver complex solutions at continually increasing speeds to meet market demands. While the underlying key values of team performance – trust, commitment, engagement, communication, accountability, and results – remain unchanged, the environment that surrounds and influences team performance has changed a great deal.
In any company, there is a brilliant bunch of individuals. However, what prompts them to share ideas and concerns, contribute to one another’s thinking, and warn the group early about potential risks is their connection to one another. Barriers to effective team dynamics include dissonant personality styles, conflicting priorities, fast-paced work routines leaving little time for relationship-building, lack of connectedness and understanding among team members or lack of trust in leaders.
Social capital and collective intelligence lie at the heart of corporate cultures: It is what they depend on, and it is what they generate. Well-integrated, high-performing teams never lose sight of their goals and are extensively self-sustaining. And it all comes down to leadership. The most significant behaviors consistently demonstrated by high-impact leaders to foster connectedness and collective intelligence are
- Envisaging the future before dealing with the present, i.e. kind of working backwards.
- Defining clear goals or a positive image of the future in accordance with overall organizational aims (the “big picture”). Leaders cannot sit back and watch. Instead, they must create and recreate the vision and team spirit that stops people from losing heart and becoming lost.
- Creating blueprints for action to achieve those goals. Leaders must be prepared to acknowledge and adapt to changes in operational conditions and objectives.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll
- Creating an environment that brings out the best in others. Leaders genuinely express their inner selves and their own vulnerabilities, setting an example for others to do the same.
- Getting the right people involved (“passionate champions”). Putting a few superstars in charge and building an atmosphere of competition is a recipe for failure.
- Maintaining trust by making teams hold to their commitments and keeping the team’s view of its goals clear. It is critical to keep the team connected and working together.The simplest way to achieve this is with a regular brief morning gathering.
- Not tolerating players who pull the team apart. Leaders are not afraid to remove people who are failing to help them get the job done.
- Projecting confidence. Leaders play hard, fight fair, and never, never give up. Their teams know that if things go really bad, s/he will seek to protect them, even if it means standing in the line of fire.
- Encouraging their teams to do their most creative thinking together. Ideas shared by a few has limits. Engaging an entire team in creative problem solving, though, is limitless.
Consequently, social sensitivity surfaces; individuals of successful teams are more tuned into one another, noticing subtle shifts in mood and demeanor. Everyone almost equally contributes and nothing any one individual says is wasted. No one dominates or is a passenger.
Developing team synergy first and foremost requires the right skills and attitudes. Without the right skill sets, it is almost impossible to build team unity. Members of winning teams have different but complementary skill sets and roles for optimum team performance. Team development is an ongoing activity.
Do you know the strengths of your team? Start developing your winning team and its individuals by helping them find out their character strengths to improve overall functioning and performance. It allows you to develop your group on many levels to enhance team connectedness, performance and engagement.
We help people develop into leaders who others want to follow. Contact us – we are as always just an email or phone call away. Keep discovering the best ways to develop teams in your organization and unleashing their potential, Annette.