4 Tricks Highly Effective Teams Use

Apr 9, 2013

Category: General

By Minda Zetlin

4 Tricks Highly Effective Teams Use

Want to get your team working more effectively? It turns out that teams, like individuals, need self-awareness to be really successful.

"The issue of the team becoming one and bonded around an identity is something I've found very useful," says Vincent D. O'Connell, Asia regional director at Globecon Institute, a training and performance firm that services the financial industry. He's also co-author of 9 Powerful Practices of Really Great Teams. "Teams are very productive when people share a sense of identity separate from that of the organization itself."

How do you get a team to bond around an identity? Here are some steps O'Connell recommends:

1. Give the team a name.

The name might simply describe what the team does, such as "Customer Service Team at Widgets, Inc." Or it can be more whimsical: "The Superhero Team." "An actual name gives the team an identity," O'Connell explains.

2. Give the team a mission statement and credo.

The mission statement may simply say why the team was formed, who its customers are, and what they want from the team, O'Connell says. It's useful to have that written down and shared among the team so all team members agree on what they're there for. "The credo is more of an 'I believe' set of statements," O'Connell says. "As a team we believe that when someone is speaking we should listen attentively. We believe that every meeting should have an agenda that everyone knows in advance," are some examples.

3. Do a self-assessment.

A team self-assessment is similar to an individual self-assessment, O'Connell says. "What is this team good at? What are we not as good at? What does the team need help with? How do we survey our customers to assure ourselves that we're as good as we think we are?"

Part of the self-assessment should be making sure that everyone on the team has a role he or she is well suited to perform. "If someone is unilaterally assigned a role on the team because they're free or you need to find a place for them, that's not a way to build trust within the team," O'Connell explains. "Trust grows exponentially when people are in their right roles, and other team members don't feel like they have to second-guess or double-check what that person does. It allows them to build the kind of synergy that will let them take on difficulties when they arise."

Continue reading at Inc.com

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