The best teams aren’t just a random conglomeration of strong team members, just as a quality jewelry chain isn’t simply a bunch of precious metal strung together. Fine gold doesn’t gain any value if it’s soldered together without care, and the same is true for your work teams. Approaching team building with the right resources and level of consideration lets you increase the value of each member’s contribution and ensure a culture where everyone supports each other in a positive, productive manner. One way organizations can invest in their teams is via customized team development training.
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.
Team development isn't a one-and-done task. It's something companies must commit to and invest in consistently over time. As new staff members integrate into the fold or long-time staff members continue to grow or face new challenges together, team development training provides the communication, collaboration and conflict-resolution skills required to support productivity and continued improvement. It's also important to know where your team is now so you can accurately measure improvement.
Ask yourself: Do you have a pseudo-team, a potential team or an actual team?
To get a better idea of these three team structures, imagine a giant field of wheat that needs harvesting. The pseudo-team attacks the field with scythes and other tools, and each person is responsible for gathering a certain amount of product. Some team members have better skills or tools, and they collect wheat faster. When they fill their quota, they go home, and an overseer is responsible for ensuring all sections of wheat are harvested.
Individuals in a potential team repeat the same process, but they might share equipment or help each other meet quota. This ensures the entire field is harvested faster and the overseer isn't left cleaning up unfinished work.
The members of the real team gather alongside the field first. They present ideas for getting the job done, and they pool the tools and skills they have. They might build a machine or devise a process from what resources they have; the wheat is harvested quickly and everyone is less stressed, less tired and happier with the outcome.
Any organization can have real teams — teams that ideate, plan and work together toward common goals. At Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we offer customized team development programs to help you take pseudo- and potential teams and turn them into real teams.
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.
First-rate teams aren’t born; they’re built out of hard work, positive intentions and a recognition that every piece of the puzzle brings something integral to the table. Those realizations often flourish only as the result of outside guidance — the assistance of a specialist who can see not just the big picture but how each brush stroke complements the next. By investing in development, you invest in the people with the ability to turn your business’s trials into triumphs.
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