In the last couple of weeks we have talked about team dynamics, belonging, interdependence and a first team mindset. Nothing is clearer when looking at successful leadership teams than the impact of positive team dynamics and the knowledge that the team is greater than the sum of its parts.
Team dynamics allow team members to leverage each other’s strengths. You lead today and follow me tomorrow. You respect what I say, listen, and add to the conversation. Positive dynamics open the door for members to master the potential of the team, have effective peer-to-peer accountability and support each other.
Teams that master their potential do a number of things well. No matter what level team we are working with, a good starting point is to understand what each person brings to the team and learn how to maximise this for higher impact.
Making 1+1 count as 3:
Whether this is about understanding the talent in the team, the strengths or the different thinking styles of each individual in the team, awareness is an important start.
For every member of a team it is important to know about themselves and each other, what they are great at, what gives them energy and motivates them and how they work at their best. What makes them tick. This enables interdependence, one of the key ingredients of impactful teams – inviting your peers to help you solve your problems. And also great accountability and feedback. You can hold the mirror up to your peers at times and understand how they are leveraging their strengths in their work. It helps point out how they are overcoming their weaknesses to get their job done in the best possible way. Similarly, where the blind spots may be, what are possible weaknesses and where they need help and support.
Mixing it up:
Difference is good. It helps teams avoid groupthink. Different voices and thinking bring different ideas and perspectives. When these are leveraged in the right way, it increases the opportunities for innovation and the performance of teams.
Once teams have a good awareness of what each member brings to the team, spend time thinking about how this can be leveraged to achieve the intended impact. What strengths or thinking needs to be dialled up or down? How and when can the strengths of individuals within the team be better utilised? How are weaknesses being exposed in the team and what can you do about that?
Difference can often be the source of frustration within teams, so it takes deliberate effort to work on getting the most out of the diversity of strengths and thinking. Vulnerability, trust and open communication, again key ingredients of an impactful team are essential for this.
Providing opportunities for growth and connection:
Spending time together as a team and working on the team, not just in it, is important for growth, development and belonging. Teams need a good operating rhythm to spend time creating awareness of who they are at their best and how that contributes to the outcomes required for the business. Ensuring regular time spent together sharing experiences, allows the space for not only the individuals within the team to grow and develop but also the team itself to grow.
There is no better indicator of the health of a team and the impact they can have than the desire to spend time together and lean on each other to make a difference.
Mastering the potential of teams is the second element in our IMPACT model for building high performance. To set in place some great practices within your teams to create awareness, celebrate difference and ultimately set your team up for growth and higher performance, get in touch.
Most importantly you will be giving space, time and attention to the most important ingredient. A sense of belonging and motivation for your team to be present and behave as a team investing in their own success.