Healthy team dynamics — fuzzy things like goodwill and cooperation, trust, and mutual respect — are elusive qualities. You know them when you see them, but the problem is that you don’t know how to directly create them in your groups, so team effectiveness remains hit or miss.
Research on team effectiveness has evolved to the point where you can now demonstrate repeatedly that healthy team dynamics result from two variables: clear leadership and inclusive communication.
An important part of my training is for people to draw on their own experiences of having been on a high-performing team but not knowing what to do to produce it again because, of course, they happen naturally. But they don’t happen naturally 100 percent of the time; not even enough of the time for us to get the luck of the draw.
The great news is that leadership and communication processes are variables you can control and develop.
The research suggests that leadership must provide an inspiring vision and effective project management practices (i.e., collective accountability toward a common goal — sound familiar?).
If the group practices effective brainstorming, creative dialog (i.e., openness to new ideas), team learning (i.e., taking time in each meeting to ask “How are we doing as a team?”), and effective conflict management, you are likely to experience the healthy dynamics we all want more of at work.
To me, a team is a result. It happens when a group of people rise to the opportunity presented by a shared responsibility.
So what are you waiting for?
Get Started With This 5-Minute Practice Tip
Analyze your work team right now. On a scale of 1-10, rate the team on
- Inspirational Leadership
- Project Management
- Team Brainstorming
- Creative Dialog,
- Team Learning, and
- Conflict Management
If you received a score of 54 or better, I bet you’ve got great dynamics. If not, you know some areas to improve.
Quotable: There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be. – Charles Sanders Pierce
Leaders and coaches: Get Christopher’s best team building and leadership strategies collected over two-plus decades of solving teamwork problems for smart people. Attend the acclaimed Creating Results-Based Teams workshop, or get this FREE Special Report while it lasts: The Five Flawless Steps to Building a Strong Executive Leadership Team.
Christopher Avery, PhD, is a recognized authority on how individual and shared responsibility works in the mind and an advisor to leaders worldwide.