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Team Effectiveness

Habits of Highly Effective Teams

Practice these habits regularly for success!

Research has validated for us many realities of being human. How and why we respond to different stimulus in similar and categorically different ways can be predictably measured. Research on teams and collaboration has been a specific human dynamic that man has tried to understand since the beginning of time. The difficulty is that teams are constantly changing in membership, focus, process, motivation, reinforcement, qualities of relationships and so on. In the linked article written by Catarina Lino and Brad Desmond in Positive Psychology, the writers discuss 7 Habits that if practiced and made habits, consistently create highly effective teams. https://positivepsychology.com/psychology-teamwork/

1. Team Identity

2. Motivation

3. Emotional Awareness

4. Communication

5. Stress Tolerance

6. Conflict Resolution

7. Positive Mood

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Team Effectiveness

What Is Team Culture?

Creating strong, high performing teams at all levels of your organization is critical to success. Organizations can’t make progress without a strong culture of teamwork. Fostering a great team culture throughout your organization must be a part of your overall Organizations Culture strategy.

A Team culture is the shared values, practices and beliefs that guide the team members interactions with one another, other teams, their managers and customers both internal and external. Team culture refers to the behaviors and patterns of a team from which members develop shared meaning. It is about both shared aspirations as well as the processes to get there, both practical and personal. Within an existing Organizational Culture teams are made up of different combinations of people and have different dynamics, manifesting their own culture. 

Here are six ways you can create an extraordinary team culture:

1. Create a Team Charter

Teams must have a starting point, a compass by which the team gets its sense of meaning and community. The charter must answer : Why are we together, Mission and Objectives, Strategy and plans, Roles and Responsibilities, Accountability structure, Behavioral expectations and agreements.

2. Set Aside Informal Time For Your Team To Relate

Positive Relationships have a big impact on great team culture. It is ideal for team members to truly like and care about each other. This is difficult to achieve in a formal setting, but critical to collective goal accountability and true no fear open communication. The ability to be vulnerable with each other allows for more authentic conflict resolution which is critical to ongoing and long term team health.

3. Be a Trustworthy Leader

Positive relationship with the teams manager is always ranked tops by high performing teams. Emotional intelligence and the ability to be self-aware of how your behavior as a leader affects the dynamics of the team and your ability to manage those behaviors; both the utilization of positive behaviors as well as the reduction of team killing behaviors. Team members must not be afraid of approaching you and asking questions.

4. Promote A Culture of Learning and Development

Opportunities for learning and development contribute to team members job satisfaction. They feel valued as well as it strengthens the overall competence available to the team. Learning and development is also one of the most effective tools to help teams develop their effectiveness. This works best when teams develop and learn together using simulation, experience and review. Knowledge sharing between team members builds relationships as well as a sense of belonging and value.

5. Make Your Workplace Conducive To Teamwork

An important part of catalyzing a great team culture is having a physical environment where productive teamwork is possible. Teams need to have time together to plan, create, polish, and synergize. Research shows that while virtual teams can be successful, they do best when they have had face to face time and use technology to collaborate. Sitting together and creating collaborative work spaces facilitates relationships between team members .

6. Celebrate Accomplishments

Part of a great team culture is a culture where team members take the time to celebrate their work, each other, and the blessings of working with others towards purposeful contributions. This should be a regular agenda item at team meetings.

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Why is Teamwork so Challenging?

Most of us work in teams or at least work environments that call for high levels of collaboration. Hopefully you have experienced success in teams but no doubt you also have experienced the challenges. Why can working in teams be such a challenge at times? in a 2016 Harvard Business Review titled “Collaboration overload”, Researchers found that there has been a 50% plus increase in collaborative activity in our work over the past decade. With this increase comes a new set of skills and conditions necessary to be successful. Teamwork has gotten more complex with people working on multiple teams at once with sometimes very different focus and different members. Trust is the foundation of effective teamwork and is often left to chance, as with all of our relationships trust must be worked on and discussed in order to create and maintain it. How we create, kickoff, and maintain our teams is critical to long term success and overall team member engagement. In the attached article Bev Attfield talks about 5 common Challenges teams face in todays work environment. https://blog.jostle.me/blog/5-challenges-of-teamwork-and-how-to-overcome-them

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Does Team Training Really Work?

Do you wonder if investing in Team Development actually works?

In the attached article research was done on the effectiveness of team development efforts as well as research on which approaches are actually effective. I think most of us have felt that in our gut team development made sense but have also questioned its actual effectiveness and so its value in investment of resources. As I shared in my last blog, practice has always been the foundation of teamwork outside of work but not so much in the work world. The article attached goes into the science and research findings behind the effectiveness of team training and which approaches are the most effective. What the research finds is that “classroom” lecture and didactic training is the least effective and simulation and experiential training with review are the most effective.https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0169604

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