It Takes a Village!
One of my passions and areas of expertise is around building high performing teams: teams who use all available resources in the most effective and efficient way possible to successfully reach a common goal. It’s that simple! But is it? We all know why teams are important; why they exist. If we are going to put teams in place, we should always strive to get the best possible results from those teams.
What gets in the way of your team doing this consistently? Responses I commonly hear: time constraints, communication issues, challenges from working globally, and rapidly shifting goals. While these are valid, is it possible it goes a bit deeper? Is it possible that at the very heart of it, your team does not trust each other and that your team members do not feel valued? How do you know and what can you do about it?
What behaviors should you be looking for to know that trust exists within your team? Teams who get along well, have fun, and get work done do not necessarily teams that possess trust. It’s more than that. If your team really trusts each other, they count on each other. They have each other’s backs. They are not afraid to be vulnerable with each other. They not only engage in, but encourage healthy conflict. (In this context, conflict is defined simply as differing in opinion, allowing team members to challenge one another, so as to arrive at the best possible outcomes.) Imagine what could be accomplished if those behaviors existed on your team consistently.
A colleague shared this video with me during a recent session we collaborated on and I loved it! As you can see from the “We All Play for Canada” video, “it takes a village” to achieve team success. There are many moving parts and they are all critical to success. Trust must be established on your team and every member of your team must feel valued. Each one must have a clearly defined role and feel and understand the value of that role and how they are contributing to the greater good.
A story I love is one in which then President John F. Kennedy was visiting the NASA Space Center in 1962. As the story goes, he took time out of his tour to introduce himself to a janitor who was carrying a broom. When he asked the man what he was doing, the man responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon”. That story gives me chills every time I tell it. What an awesome answer. How many of us would answer in that way, with focus on the bigger picture? How many people in the above video would answer in this way? No matter how large or small your role, you are a vital part of a larger story; a larger story in life, on your team, and in your organization. When your entire team embraces this concept, you will see incredible results.
We look forward to continuing the conversation. If you feel that your team is not working at the level you believe capable, contact us at The People Side to learn how we can help you build a high performing team. Once you establish trust and make sure everyone on your team feels valued, good things will follow.