10 Practical Ways to Enhance Team Dynamics

Listen for the sucking sound of money going down the drain when lousy teams take on projects.

Stop wasting time on teams that waste time.

lousy teams

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Successful teams are a thing of beauty. But, when was the last time you worked on your team.

Team dynamics determine team potency.

Dangers:

Bad habits set-in apart from intervention.

7 dangers:

  1. Focus grows fuzzy.
  2. Energy declines.
  3. Tensions are tolerated.
  4. Self-protective behaviors take root.
  5. Dead weight is condoned.
  6. Average is accepted.
  7. Dominant members control.

The 13 Rules of engagement:

  1. Celebration: describe wins at every meeting.
  2. Transparency: declare yourself. Hidden agendas are unacceptable.
  3. Exploration: add to ideas.
  4. Participation: no bystanders.
  5. Honor: difference is strength not weakness.
  6. Respect: disagree without personal attack.
  7. Candor: point out what isn’t working.
  8. Accountability: deliver on commitments.
  9. Unity: understand and embrace team mission.
  10. Clarity: ask questions before drawing conclusions.
  11. Flexibility: be willing to change your mind.
  12. Results: who does what by when?
  13. Milestones: set them. Celebrate them.

Enhancing dynamics:

4 questions individuals can ask the team:

  1. What strengths do I bring to the team? (name three)
  2. When am I most useful to the team? (identify a situation or interaction)
  3. How could I better contribute to the team? (describe an observable behavior)
  4. What are your hopes for me in relation to the team? (meaningful contribution)

6 Fill-ins for teams:

  1. Our job is to ________.
  2. We’re successful when ________. (describe results or interactions)
  3. I’d like to try ________. (describe projects or team dynamics)
  4. Our team would be better if _________. (describe in behavioral terms)
  5. I’m uncomfortable discussing ________. (point out the elephant in the room)
  6. I’m proud when ________.

Application:

Choose three questions or fill-ins to begin your next meeting. Work on the team not just on projects.

Tip:

Spend more time on positives than negatives.

How can leaders enhance team dynamics?

Recommended resource: “The Secret of Teams,” by Mark Miller.