We know that teams have the potential to achieve great results but getting teams to work together well is one of the greatest challenges leaders face. Fortunately, what is needed to be an effective team can be learned.
Facilitating team development trainings provides a unique view into what does and doesn’t work well for teams. Over time, I’ve consistently seen the best teams apply these 7 practices to achieve great results:
Ask Questions: When teams rush into solving a challenge without asking questions they often overlook valuable information that could save time, energy, and resources. Understanding the goals, clarifying the rules, and learning what can and can’t be changed are great places to start.
Listen to Other’s Ideas: It is never just one person’s input that leads to great results. Effective teams listen to ideas from everyone not just the most outspoken among the group. Pausing to capture ideas and input that might otherwise be missed helps ensure the greatest team effort.
Make Time to Plan: Everyone has his or her strengths. For some it’s planning and refining the plan to make it even better. Others are great at blazing forward discovering what’s needed along the way. The best teams don’t chose between the two but instead leverage both strengths. How much planning time is needed depends on the team and the challenge. By slowing down to plan teams can actually speed up results.
Take Action: Having a plan is not enough. Teams must take action to get results. Doing so can open up new possibilities and learning along the way. When I see teams with a strong bias for planning, breakthroughs in performance often come the moment they move to action. Plans can always be refined and adjusted along the way but without taking action no one moves forward.
Provide Feedback: Healthy teams are able to provide feedback to the team and to individuals in a way that enhances performance and drives results. Unfortunately feedback can also be given or even received unproductively. The key to providing feedback that helps is creating a safe environment for healthy conflict while also keeping egos in check.
Be Open to Change: There is something to be said for consistency and proven methods; however, the best teams also value innovative thinking. They create a win-win acknowledging what’s proven to work while being open to change. This openness to change helps create a culture that drives innovation, keeping products and services both relevant and competitive.
Celebrate Successes: Extraordinary teams and teams that achieve good results are similar in many ways but the best teams can be distinguished by the strong sense of community that’s been developed. This creates a family environment in which genuine care and concern can exist. Celebrating successes together as a team is part of creating an environment that leads to great results.
Which practice is most needed today for your team to achieve great results?
Contact Me for more information on team development options for your team and organization.