Team development is a process, not an event. If you are looking for a quick fix to your team’s issues, this process is not for you. The following four steps create long lasting change and improvement in performance, and require ongoing commitment and follow-through from you and your team members.
1. Get Crystal Clear
Your very first step is getting clear on what a high performing team looks like. Without a clear understanding of the behaviors and practices that must show up for improved performance, teams can easily spin their wheels and waste time and energy on strengthening areas that won’t lead to improved team performance. Therefore, even when a team is consciously trying to improve, critical aspects that block team performance are often overlooked.
High Performance Teams consistently demonstrate each of the 7 Elements of a High Performing Team.
High Performing Teams:
- Create a Healthy Climate
- Are Cohesive
- Share Leadership
- Have Team Members who Contribute
- Are Innovative
- Are Change Compatible
- Have Strong Group Work Skills
2. Get Your Team Fanatically Focused
For team development to work, it must be done by the team, not to the team.
This step is critical to building the momentum, focus and energy needed to sustain the continuous improvement process. Getting your team fanatically focused involves connecting them to the 7 Elements and creating dialogue and energy around the following continuous improvement questions.
- How does our team measure up against the 7 Elements?
- What should we celebrate? What are our key strengths?
- What are our opportunities for improvement?
- What are the risks in not addressing these opportunities?
- What will we improve upon, first? And why?
3. Enable Ongoing Team Action and Accountability
Sustainable team development requires the team having the right tools to enable ongoing action and dialogue. Team tools include:
- Exercises that can be used in team meetings that support the team in strengthening their area for development (identified in Step 2)
- Questions that spark dialogue and action.
Team Tools should spark:
- Increased awareness re: team performance
For Example, here are some questions to ask your team to strengthen Cohesiveness:
- How do we define success as a team?
- What top 3 priorities should we focus on to achieve success?
- How will we ensure we stay fanatically focused on our goals and priorities?
For the complete process for Step 3, watch our complimentary webinar here.
4. Check-In and Repeat
This step occurs about 4 months into the process, and is all about the team coming together to:
- Recognize how far they’ve come over the past few months
- Celebrate achievements made
- Identify what they will improve upon next
Taking the time to assess and recognize the improvements the team has made in how they work together will feed energy and motivation and will provide evidence that the continuous improvement process actually works.