Building Exceptional Teams: Critical Factors: Part One

Building Exceptional Teams Critical Factors Part One

I was recently asked to identify the critical factors in the development and creation of exceptional teams. This was a request that I received from a client after a conversation about why there is a shortage of extraordinary units. Also, because of the loss of security and comfort in the EU, organizations are seeking the more significant benefits of team operation and a higher ROI for investment in them. This request was made. Here is a summary of my thoughts.

1 Effective Foundation Communication

Complex societies exist, and we all play complicated games. The language used within a team can make communication difficult. This leaves team members unable or unwilling to interpret the messages accurately. Communication that is simple, basic, and free from jargon is essential for developing outstanding teams. Developing a communication system that prevents misinterpretation, misinterpretation, or misdirection is key to any high-performing organization.

Communication that is free from judgment is part of the same factor. Too often, the speaker believes that the responsibility for correct interpretation and understanding rests with the listener. This false belief encourages secure, covert communication. It prevents confident expression and stops checking for understanding.

As they grow, teams create their own communication system. This is more likely to work if the seed language was superficial foundation level plain English. New team members will need to adapt their interpretations to make sense of their new language. It is an underrated skill to use simple English.

Team development action:

Encourage your team members to communicate ideas, instructions, and requests in plain English.
Encourage the use of acronyms and jargon, etc.
Do not assume you understand the situation. Encourage and support checking and clarifying.
Encourage and support the idea that the speaker is responsible for ensuring the listener understands the message.

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2 Share the responsibility for each other’s success and failure

When people who are united by a common goal realize that they have an advantage and take responsibility for others’ success, then teams can form. A group of people may work together, but it won’t develop into a team without that catalyst initiative. Many times, people think they work together but never realize the potential that comes from the interdependence of interpersonal responsibility.

This notion is inseparable from the realization that no two people can work the same way, have the same intelligence, knowledge, and skills. Each team member will need to take responsibility for their success and rely on others to provide the support they lack. Realizing that each team member needs help differently, one person is more productive than the other, one person has more intelligence than another, one person has a more remarkable ability to think critically, another one has a tendency to be logically evaluative, and another one has a sensitive and intuitive mind, among others, leads to the realization that there will be times when one team member needs more support than the other. This is likely to encourage the development of a culture that values mutual support and acceptance. It also leads to realizing that the greatest strengths of the team are their differences.

Team development action:

Encourage and support each other’s responsibility
Encourage protectionist behavior within and between roles.
Encourage knowledge sharing and expertise;
Diversification is to be encouraged and celebrated.
It is essential to discredit the notion that character or job cloning is beneficial, that similarity in a role is superior.
To maximize the benefits of variety and diversification, take advantage of every thought, every point of view, and every preference and expand your potential to explore new territories.

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3  identical objectives

An exceptional team has all members who are aware of the team’s objectives. This is different from the individual team members being only aware of their objectives and the overall goal. If a member of a team wants to contribute to the success of others, it is essential to be knowledgeable about the destinations and the timing. The more they know, the more likely they will create or find an opportunity to help other members.

The hierarchy of objectives is based on function and time. For example, today’s sales goals indicate a contribution towards the long-term organizational goals. Sharing dreams at all levels is crucial to maximizing the team’s potential.

Each team member must have the same perception of and understanding of these objectives. Otherwise, the contribution’s value is significantly reduced and quickly becomes a burden. Imagine yourself as the recipient of a few donations. Each one was made with good intentions, but you don’t have a clear understanding of the intended outcome. These contributions will likely become deterrents for future donations.

Team development action:

Share, clarify, and publish the team’s goals hourly, daily, or weekly.
Allow each member of the team to freely express and explore his or her perceptions of the team’s goals;
Encourage exploration, investigation, and opportunism to create opportunities to contribute to the team’s overall objectives and each member’s individual objectives.

4 Clarity of purpose and accountability:

To avoid conflict, confusion, and lack of direction among team members, it is essential that each member of the team has a clear understanding of their purpose and responsibilities. Too often, this factor is given lip service but without the level of commitment and detail required to achieve efficient results. On many occasions, I’ve seen team leaders or directors give direction but not enough detail. This leaves team members confused and frustrated, allowing for wasted time and the possibility of error. In my own business, as well as in other organizations I have worked with, I know firsthand the joy that comes from having clarity about purpose and responsibility. Negativity can lead to team paralysis, and it can also erode creativity, positivity, and good nature.

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Clear communication is essential in any team. It should clearly describe the reason that a team member is part of that team.

Team development action:

Encourage your team members to seek clarity as soon as possible.
It is important to clearly describe the purpose of each member of your team.
It is essential to clearly identify the responsibility of each member of your team, such as for whom, what, when, and how.
You will find clarity when you look for negativity, confusion, and lack of direction.
Author: An experiential development coach and facilitator based in Cumbria (UK), the author specializes in team building activities that use challenging exercises to help teams consider the value in their actions.

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