5 considerations for Cultivating and Nurturing a strong team:
1. Establish a foundation of psychological safety.
One of the most important components of how well a team works together is the psychological safety of the team – the ability to be vulnerable and take risks without fear of retribution or other negative intra-team impacts. It’s the basis for developing and strengthening the bonds of trust within the ecosystem among each and every team member. It fosters a climate of open dialogue, idea generation, innovation, and agility that’s critical for teams to thrive.
2. Develop and adopt rules of engagement.
Implementing good team protocols sets a critical foundation for how the team will operate and interact going forward, including how team members treat one another. Designing the team alliance helps further establish the team, build stronger relationships, and is predicated upon these key elements:
- Confidentiality that offers a safe place to work through issues
- Mutual respect where everybody’s voice counts even when they’re not in the room
- Each team member bringing their best leadership to the table while owning when they aren’t at their best without being shamed or ashamed for it
Articulating the teams’ rules of engagement with regular checkpoints helps avoid mistaken assumptions that can quickly undermine and derail the team dynamic.
3. Commit to a defined process of conflict resolution.
As we all have different points of view, different expertise, different perspectives, it is inevitable there will be conflict. What differentiates high-performing teams, is their ability to address and resolve conflict early on, in a constructive, productive manner. Critical here is having a trusted, well-articulated conflict resolution process that’s fully embraced by the team. One company moves conflict to their conflict resolution room, where they first identify the facts that can be agreed upon, and then identify the stories that team members are putting on those facts, and then move through to resolution.
4. Pay attention to the conversations you’re not having.
Teams fail slowly, and then quickly because of the conversations they’re not having. Pay close attention to team members who are not speaking up or who may be quiet in the meeting or on the call. Consider what’s being stepped over in conversations and name the elephants in the room. Go deeper to understand the why.
5. Seek and lean on supports to optimize effectiveness.
Executive teams may need additional support for a variety of reasons, including to help with realignment, remedy dysfunction, onboard a new team leader, or accelerate performance and outcomes. A skilled, certified, team coach can provide the structure, support, and empowerment that allows teams to learn, practice, and integrate new behaviors that optimize collaboration to drive sustainable change and results.
With so much on the line in today’s highly competitive business environment, leadership teams must be operating at their best. Now is the time to invest in optimizing key opportunity areas, enabling teams to become more agile, more resilient, and more sustainable over time.
Excerpts taken from Scott Seagren’s article dated May 21, 2021, Executive Coaching Connection