• Andre

Team Performance: An Enduring Proposition

There is no I in team.

There are however, individuals within a team. Simple notion isn’t it?

Team dynamics and team effectiveness are concepts that have been examined under countless circumstances and written about in endless forms. They have the potential to derail common causes as teams either gel or implode.

In our experience working with organisational teams, there are particular themes that consistently emerge from within the most effective. We have a belief that certain enduring characteristics fulfil vital roles in distinguishing high-performance teams from the rest.

In bringing together any group of individuals, you can expect to see a variety of personalities, perspectives, and experience driven motivations and biases.

We also notice individuals default to wearing particular hats when working through a challenge. Being aware of these hats is critical to understanding team dynamics and using these to your team’s advantage.

When engaging with any new group of people brought together with the goal of functioning as a high-performing team, one of the quickest ways we (at Kin Space) foster a sense of team is by establishing relatability. Forming a genuine and authentic human connection.

This also applies to existing teams that have sought external assistance. Whether it’s to establish consensus and buy-in within the team, or simply to manage a conversation.

When relatability is increased, communication becomes immediately more effective and as people become engaged through a purpose, team productivity soars.

It is valuable in ‘breaking the ice’, and without fail you will learn something new about another person. It provides the opportunity to discover commonalities and immediately shifts the energy in a room.

There are teams; and then there are high performance teams.

A sporting, working, community, military or rescue team — it’s irrelevant. All great teams have some core ingredients that produce a burst of flavour like no other.

Just like the perfect dish, it’s all in the timing. The order in which these ingredients are input is key.

There are some staple ingredients that are assumed as required. Namely, for a team to be set up for success, it is vital for them to be equipped with complementary technical, problem-solving and decision-making skills to carry out their mission.

In the case of high performance teams however, there are a few differentiating elements:

Establishing a meaningful purpose both individually and collectively is primary to setting the team compass.

From here, teams can translate their direction into specific performance goals. These agreed goals provide the platform for the addition of the next ingredient — mutual accountability.

True mutual accountability demands a sincere commitment individuals make to themselves and to those on the team. Not to the task. This will frame the trust and commitment that is required for any team to succeed.

Finally, for the icing on the cake, mutual accountability builds an understanding that there are shared leadership roles within the team. All for one and one for all.

*What is the flavour of your team - do you need to reconsider your ingredients?

Blog Tags: Teams, Team Dynamics, Team Performance