Whether it’s gliding effortlessly through mountains of work or generating innovative solutions, a great team is wonderful thing to behold. In fact, there are so many benefits to great team work it’s no wonder teams have become such a common workplace feature. Sadly, in reality the benefits are often not fully realised. If you ask people about their experiences working in teams they frequently include depressing stories of in-fighting and dysfunctional relationships.
Faced with such experiences, it can seem like the best way to fix a team is to just get rid of a few of the “difficult” people. It might sound appealing and a quick fix, but it’s not the “personalities” that cause most of the dysfunction in teams.
If you think about it, it’s probably just as well. If our ancestors had to worry about how the personalities in a hunting party gelled, while fighting off a sabre tooth tiger, then we might not be here today. Facing something fierce with fangs keeps the focus firmly on the task at hand and personality concerns fade into the background.
But you don’t need to bring a hungry tiger to work to build a great team. To find out where the real issues are, it’s better (and safer) to consider a few key questions. Does the team have a clear vision and goal? Do the team members understand their role within the team? How is the team recognised for their achievements? What processes do you have in place to avoid the pitfalls of decision making in a group? These are just some of the questions to consider when reviewing team effectiveness.
Once you have a good idea of where the issues are then you can take steps to build not just a functional team but a great team. The steps along the road to a great team can be categorised into two main areas:
1.Thriving People – If you want your team to thrive make sure its members know how to cultivate wellbeing and good team player practices.
2.Practices and Processes – Learning the practices and processes that support great teams be it: decision making processes, social support, or long term quality team processes, there is a great deal that can be put in place to support great team work.
Taking the time to work through these two areas with your team can make the difference between reaping the benefits of teamwork or struggling with teamwork dysfunctions.
Wonder how your team measures up? Take the thriving team questionnaire to discover how effective your team is.Thriving Team Questionnaire
To find out more about how to turn an ok team into a thriving team check out The Thriving Team Program.