In today’s Information Age and increasingly complex work environment, very few people work alone. Nearly all of us work in teams of some form and rely on others to deliver our intended results. How many of us have the pleasure and privilege of working with World Champion teams though? Unfortunately, more of us than not are probably members of teams that more closely resemble the Bad News Bears with team members who just don’t seem to click or maybe can’t succeed in any position on the field.
So how do we turn our everyday teams into World Champion teams? High-performing teams must have a shared focus and commitment to achieving superior results. Simply wanting it doesn’t make it happen though. It takes much more than a team’s collective desire to be high-performing. If you want to deliver superior business results, the following are three key principles for building high-performing teams.
- Work Styles – Understanding each other’s differences is critical to the success of building a high-performing team. Similar styles tend to be compatible socially, but work effectiveness requires a mix of different styles in a team. These different styles, however, can cause interpersonal conflict between team members, so it’s important for us to understand each other’s differences and natural tendencies. We can work effectively with all styles and produce better results together as long as we have mutual respect for each other’s unique talents and skills, mutual trust in everyone’s intentions to support the team, and a willingness to adapt when our natural styles may not produce the best results.
- Communications – Once we understand and appreciate each other’s differences, we need to learn to communicate more effectively with one another. Since our non-verbal cues comprise approximately 2/3 of what we communicate and are nearly 2x more important than our spoken words, it’s imperative for us to pay close attention to both our verbal and non-verbal cues. This is especially important when we are communicating electronically and managing by iPhone! If you sometimes only pay attention to what interests you or only listen to what you want to hear, you may need to re-evaluate your communications approach and use more eye contact to engage with your team. Ultimately, all of us as leaders need to stop speaking so much and start listening to what others are trying to tell us.
- Accountability – Last but not least, we need to support our employees and set them up for success. This requires establishing clear roles and responsibilities for everyone and developing consistent processes to manage our work. Producing superior results also requires focusing on our most important goals rather than trying to do too much. With these goals in place, we then need to track our progress and keep score so that everybody knows if we’re winning or not. People play differently when they are keeping score, so make sure that you use an effective scoreboard to motivate your team, drive accountability, and keep everyone focused on what matters most.
Who you are as a leader – your leadership style – has a tremendous impact on the climate your team members experience at work. More importantly, that climate drives team performance. Said differently, leaders make weather! Are you going to make dark clouds and thunderstorms for your team, or are you going to create a more positive and productive work environment with blue skies and sunshine for everyone? The choice is yours, but only following these proven practices will create a high-performing team.
Want to turn your everyday team into a World Champion team? Do you want to deliver superior business results? Give us a call at 310.589.4610 or email us today to learn how you can implement these three key principles and build a high-performing team. You might also visit the Organizational Assessment page of our website for more information on how we enable our clients to produce powerful breakthroughs in performance by assessing their current work climate.