Most great leaders don’t treasure their individual achievements but the accomplishments of their teams.
This speaks volumes about our human condition: how we are connected to each other, how strong they are, and the critical relationship. This is an excellent indicator of the underlying motivations that drive performance improvement in the workplace. They are similar to what motivates us to achieve success elsewhere.
Neuroscience has contributed significantly to our understanding of the human connection that drives teamwork. The more neuroscience is included in our thinking, and the more effective partnership we have, the better.
Take the luck out of teamwork.
Leaders often talk modestly about how they are “lucky” to work with certain people. It may not work if you put the same group of people together with another leader.
Good leaders instinctively know how to get the most out of a group. This requires a deeper understanding of human nature and many facets. This simple yet essential truth often gets lost in the chaos of the fast-paced environment we work in. We try to make it through, hoping for the best and praying for luck.
However, those at the top want highly cohesive and effective teams that can perform at their peak and give them a competitive edge. This is often impossible without taking a step back and developing a strategy for teamwork.
Recent neuroscience discoveries have greatly improved our understanding of how we can get the best from our teams. They discovered that the main factors behind human behavior and the needs that drive all human relationships are the same as those that affect team relationships. This allows for long-term, sustainable changes, as opposed to “forcing” them through control-based leadership, which can often create resistance.
An approach that is needs-based
Since the inception of the first company, the question of what makes the team better has been at the forefront of management thinking. It is important to not discard all that has been done before and to replace it with the latest “fad,” but rather to enhance it with a deeper understanding of human behavior. This understanding becomes part of the culture when it is passed down from the top to the employees.
Teamwork and behavior change should be approached from the perspective of the members of the team. These six essential needs can be broken down into six:
1. Similarity – The brain must be part of a cohesive, fair, and safe group.
2. Expression – If the brain is to function correctly, it must express its emotions.
3. To feel like we are leading the pack, our brains need status.
4. Interpersonal Connection – The brain must feel connected to and genuinely understood.
5. Seeing the facts – The brain loves feedback and progress.
6. For the brain to move forward, it must have hope for the future.
Although the above may seem simple, it has profound effects and is something that most people can relate to. It is based both on the brain’s actual functioning and human behavior. Traditional systems often aim for ideal behaviors that people struggle to achieve, which can lead to resistance.
The above framework can be used to create practical actions that will lead to better team results. This will result in more motivated and committed teams, less conflict, and greater creativity.