The 4 Major Elements of Making a Great Team
Depending on your situation, here is a primer of where a team should focus efforts in order to build team effectiveness.
Element #1: TRAINING
If you cannot afford the training, opt for some outside help or look to a training department if you have one.
If you were to measure where the team needed training, begin by looking closely at the team.
– Clarity of purpose
– Planning for the future
– Dealing with conflict
– Leveraging individual talents
– Healthy communications
– Building camaraderie
– Finding synergy
– Creative problem-solving
Element #2: BALANCE
First, some insight into the dynamics that occur.
Teams operate in two dimensions.
WHAT THEY DO … and … HOW THEY DO IT
Better be savvy at building both sides if you want a productive, happy team.
What Teams Do
The bottom line is the bottom line. That’s what I said … Teams must be productive. In fact, if you have experienced non-productive teams, I would drill down to whether they have even had specific team building training. Six sigma green belt training does not count unless it has the interpersonal side addressed as well. Some do. Some don’t.
And so, a trained 6 sigma green belt has this tasky know-how. That is the nuts and bolts of identifying issues or opportunities, and taking a logical, measured approach to tackling them.
On to the other dimension.
How Teams Do It
Look a little more closely. How well do the team members actually interact and support each other? Their interaction styles are critical. In fact, a team cannot become high-performing without some awareness of personality style (as referred to as DiSC styles or social styles).
So, yes, I am a huge advocate of the styles training. They CANNOT become high-performing without it.
Styles directly affects productivity. Your style determines how you make decisions, take risk, communicate a request (or an order), and how you are motivated. Lots and lots of implications, and, wow, potential for conflict if it is not understood.
What to Look for in Team Training
So what should you look for in good team building seminars?
Well, for one, look for a workshop, rather than a seminar. A workshop suggests hands-on, interactive training, something with some teambuilding adventures.
This suggests that teams go through dedicated training as a team.
Corporate teambuilding programmes can fit the bill for developing teamwork effectiveness, even a 6 sigma course, as long as it is tailored, and is addressing BOTH DIMENSIONS: What the team does and how they do it.
If you have not already figured it out, the two dimensions are task and people, a/k/a hard and soft skills.
For you Technical organizations, see the why technical environments are different, seek insight on gaining balance of people and task in a very tasky work environment.
Element #3: AWARENESS
Are you aware of your blind spots?
Awareness is half the battle … if I cannot make you see the shortfalls, then we have no hope for motivation to change. The same goes for building strengths.
Team meetings can be designed around keeping a radar up to catch this.
Element #4: SYNERGY
Two heads are better than one.
Although there are some exceptions to this rule (like certain laboratory and R&D situations), it remains the principle reason for building teams. In the long run, you save effort.
And if everything else is working, then synergy will be a natural result.
Aligning certain mechanisms should be checked at this point:
1 – effective meetings
2 – the right people on the team
3 – appropriate level of authority
4 – program factors (timeframe, resources, reportability)