Successful companies are run by cohesive teams that work together to achieve the same goals. That requires trust, excellent communication skills and a give-and-take flow that doesn’t come natural to every person or group. Our team development programs help work groups understand and practice the behaviors that put these traits in action, and we even provide assessment tools so teams can continuously gauge their progress and work to create an ever more positive, productive culture.
An effective team is a collaborative unit that's able to work toward a common goal successfully. If your team is dysfunctional in any way, you'll see a failure to meet your goals or a delay in meeting them, as well as fractured relationships and non-productive interaction between team members.
Turnkey Coaching and Development Solution's team development program focusing on the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team provides a highly useful metric by which to evaluate your own work team or leadership team.
In 2012, Google began a new research project in team development, which it dubbed Project Aristotle. The Googlers studied 180 productive, effective teams but couldn't figure out what they had in common. Was it hierarchical structure? No. Did the team members have compatible backgrounds or personality types? Sometimes, but not always. Were all the team members friends who hung out together after work? Again, sometimes.
The Google researchers drilled deeper and deeper, finally discovering the one element that all great teams share: psychological safety.
According to Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson, psychological safety is the "shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking." To reach a point of psychological safety, trust is vital, as is the ability to disagree in a healthy manner.
The Project Aristotle researchers then looked at how psychological safety manifests itself in healthy teams, highlighting two defining factors that show up in the give-and-take of the top productive teams.
Your team development program must include a way to assess whether your development efforts are working. The Harvard Business Review recommends paying attention to the team's output and the ability of the team to collaborate, as well as individual assessments of each of the team members.
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Progress Report provides a template for just such an assessment, allowing you to pinpoint areas of improvement to celebrate and build on as well as those ways in which your team still needs to improve.
If a team is truly working together in a relationship of mutual accountability, the Progress Report makes that clear. It also shows obstacles to development and paves the way for team members to assess their own collaboration.
Even a small disconnect in your team is enough to create bottlenecks or cause miscommunication that creates greater schisms. Leadership teams must stay connected to work teams, regularly participating in meetings and one-on-one discussions so they can evaluate how the team works together and whether distrust is creating barriers. Here are some signs that your team isn't doing a great job at developing trust.
Meetings or collaborative work are huge negatives.
If team members regularly come up with excuses to get out of group work or avoid meetings, or you hear sarcastic comments about meetings from team members, problems might be brewing. While it's good for teams to point out when meetings are unnecessary and simply taking time away from production, if staff hates getting together at all, then they aren't communicating and helping each other in the right way.
Team members hide mistakes and flaws.
In a culture of trust, each team member can admit to a weakness without worrying that others will take advantage of it. That means each employee is more likely to admit they don't know something (so they can be taught) or fess up to a mistake early (so it can more easily be corrected). Working together in this way builds even more trust amid team members, creating a positive snowball effect.
Grudges are a constant presence.
Without trust, team members may default to assuming negative intent on the part of others, and forgiveness isn't often present. That means teams can be derailed by perceived slights or real mistakes, and they don't communicate well enough to get through the issue without long-term, negative consequences.
These are the types of things you can avoid by ensuring your teams are well-trained to promote trust, honesty and professional communication across the group.
Companies that select tailor-made team development courses instead of standard team-building activities tend to experience greater success in the long run. On the surface, cookie-cutter team-building schemes seem convenient and inexpensive, but they don't offer the business-specific qualities inherent in high-quality workshops or engage the participants in a competency-building learning experience. Custom team development programs designed specifically for your company by Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, help teams of all sizes (from leadership and executive teams to mid-level teams to special project teams). Our programs are specifically designed to engage your team members in working toward higher performance and company-specific goals, rewarding and validating their efforts along the way.
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team leadership team training and development program is tailored to meet your organization's very specific and unique needs and culture. Through training, coaching and team development, you can facilitate trust, strengthen your team members’ ability to deal with conflicts, and their collaborative skills, all of which come together to produce the results you want your executive and work teams to achieve.
When you're able to harness the talents and personalities of your team members to work together cohesively toward a common goal, everyone benefits. Imagine your team making smart decisions together, tapping into each person's special abilities, and staying focused cooperatively to get results. That's the kind of teamwork that provides your organization with the ability to compete at its best.
A team-building and team-development program is an effective way to build cohesion among your team. But it isn't a one-shot deal. The bonds forged through team-building activities can erode over time without proactive steps to keep them strong. That's why team development, as with culture development, should be an ongoing part of your business's strategy. True, you might not have the time or the funds for weekly team retreats, but you can incorporate productive and fun team-training exercises into your daily routine. This commitment, over time, will not only transform your team’s effectiveness but also have a positive impact on your company’s culture.
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