When was the last time you considered the key factors that differentiate highly effective teams from less effective ones? What are highly effective teams in the first place? For starters, these teams get their jobs done with greater quality, more care, in a shorter amount of time, deal with challenges more proactively, have happier customers, and have more fun doing it all! There are three keys to creating highly effective teams that should be on the top of every leaders’ list of priorities.
An important goal of every leader is to develop that kind of highly effective team. That goal is within the reach of any leader willing to put the effort into following three simple rules: Create a Unified Vision, Encourage Resolve, and Foster Trust. Leaders and teams often fall victim to poor performance when they lose sight of these rules and instead focus only on the specific skills needed to create a particular deliverable or operate a particular machine. Those type of skills are certainly important however, it has been my long experience that it is easier to teach those types of skills than it is to teach trust and resolve. Focusing on skills alone leads to lopsided teams that quickly develop into an “me versus them” mentality instead of a “we” mentality.
What is it about these three rules that make them so important?
- Unified of Vision / Everyone involved in a project needs to be on the same page regarding what is being delivered. When there is unity of vision, when everyone agrees to move in a specific direction, selects a specific outcome, people will come collective solutions more creative, innovative, and more effective than otherwise possible. Each person’s idea feeds the common goal and encourages greater collaboration. Team members are more apt to understand each other more quickly because of the the shared assumptions.
- Resolve / When each person involved in the project is fully resolved to its outcome, the group as a whole becomes more effective. Everyone is working to their fullest potential, tapping into their innate ingenuity, skills, and talents. People who are resolved are more likely to do additional research to solve a particularly challenging problem. Fully resolved people are more likely to find alternative solutions when progress slows or is impeded by unforeseen situations.
- Trust / Another key quality of highly effective teams is trust. This is the single most important element of any project. Trust builds a team environment that encourages innovation, creativity, risk taking, and all manner of insightful ideas that would not otherwise be possible. Trusting teams are more collaborative because they want to talk to each other and share ideas and experiences. People are naturally social beings and will always gravitate towards more openness between each other. Trusting teams surface issues earlier giving teams greater awareness to potential roadblocks and solutions.
Following these simple rules creates an environment where team members will try innovative new solutions, seek opportunities to create more efficient processes, and generally play well with each other.
What are your top three keys to highly effective teams?