Over the years I’ve encountered a few teams who have teamwork happening in an admirable way. And lately I’ve come across a number of quite senior teams who, usually unbeknown to them, are having a far-reaching negative impact on their business because they haven’t acknowledged the need for them to be doing more “teaming”.
What’s the difference that makes the difference between a great team and an “also ran” team?
Superb business benefits are created when leaders address this question—which is why I care about it so much as a certified Team Coach.
When Teamwork Is Lacking What Are The Probable Costs?
Although it’s not always immediately obvious, when teamwork isn’t great, communication problems occur, sooner or later…
And, sooner or later, these communication stumbling blocks lead to…
…time and productivity inefficiencies
…flow-on effects that harm customers’ experiences
…conflicts between people
…lowered team-member discretionary effort
…higher team-member turnover
Ah, we could go on, but it feels too painful!
But listen up! It’s not all that difficult to enhance the way your team works together. You’ll experience rewarding business consequences by systematically following some important “rules”…
What Are The Rules That Lesser-Performing Teams Ignore?
There are a number of practices and behaviours that high-performing teams demonstrate and lesser-performing teams don’t. Here we’re going to focus on just two of the most critical, foundational habits of very-high-performing teams:
1. Team Focus and Performance
In very-high-performing-teams, team members have real clarity and full alignment about their team’s…
…vision of success
…purpose for being there
…specific team performance goals (Note: We’re talking “team” goals here, not “individual” goals.)
And their agreements are documented, tracked, frequently referred to and communicated, both intra and inter team.
This first “focus and performance” rule provides a solid footing for success, without which the team’s stresses, strains and cracks are going to show up—stresses, strains and cracks that will most certainly impact upon the team’s productivity and the business.
2. Team Practices
In very-high-performing-teams, team members agree on how they’ll work potently together to…
…achieve the team’s goals
…communicate fully and with clear intent
…make valuable decisions
…solve problems innovatively
…resolve conflicts constructively
…and so on.
Please don’t imagine that you can skip this step. It’s an oversight to think, “Oh, we don’t need to sit down and agree on these things. They don’t seem to cause us problems.”
Without this important step, this clearly communicated substructure, the building will wobble a little, or a lot, sooner or later.
An upfront discussion and agreement on the team’s practices smoothes their way forward. Team members no longer create their own rules, or adopt costly avoidance practices, or experience the conflict that always shows up when expectations haven’t been disclosed and aligned. And team members feel connected—like they’re on the same team.
Your Leadership Call to Action
There’s a real productivity payoff when teams invest time in aligning their expectations. When a team’s great at “teaming” it’s great for business—and, by the way, it makes your leadership role a whole lot easier too.
There’s some food for thought for you.
I’m happy to talk with you one-on-one, about these and the other “rules” very-high-performing-teams apply, and how you can explicitly determine where your team is highly aligned with a very-high-performing-team, and where there are opport.unities for it to more positively impact business results.
Please send me a quick email if you think you’d benefit from that sort of conversation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.