10 Team Dynamics of High-Performance Teams
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
The same applies to teams. And there’s a lot of research regarding what works in team building and team dynamics (which are defined as the motivating forces that propel a team toward its goal and mission.) The challenge is using what works for the team at that time.
The list below highlights some things that happy and productive teams share.
1.) Identify a leader
A common mistake is the failure to recognize that any team endeavor requires the identification or emergence of a leader. This person isn’t there to tell people what to do, but to guide the process, ensure a steady supply of resources, coordinate efforts, and assist in cross-functional-teamwork.
2.) Establish roles and responsibilities and discuss what each person “brings to the table”
Understanding the various functions and responsibilities of the team is critical to success. Taking the time to understand the expertise and special interests of team members will allow you to match people with their capacity to complete the project tasks.
3.) Create goals and objectives
In any team, recognizing and understanding the goal is paramount. All organizations have long-term goals, and project teams must set and understand technical and process goals.
4.) Establish an agenda for managing time to complete tasks and meetings
Teams that effectively manage their time achieve better results.
5.) Develop a method to determine how your team will reach agreement
Every day people make decisions quickly – from what to wear to what to have for breakfast – individuals use rational and irrational methods to make decisions. However, when two or more people (any team or committee) attempt to make the simplest decision without agreement, chaos results.
6.) Establish ground rules for meetings
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” As it relates to teams, no truer words apply. When teams meet, there should be a set of standards that establish how team members behave toward one another. This will not only ensure courtesy, but also an adequate and productive use of your team’s time together.
7.) Ensure proper and timely use of quality tools
Teams must have knowledge (and accessibility) to utilize and comprehend the quality tools needed for each project or task.
8.) Immediately deal with maladaptive behaviors, with consequences included
No matter how well a team prepares for maladaptive behavior and attempts to prevent it, such behavior will occur. This is particularly the case on teams! When these maladaptive behaviors are ignored and left to fester, they’re like a dead body left to rot in the living room. It looks and smells progressively worse, and no one will want to deal with it.
9.) Quickly start each project or task
Teams waste a lot of time before the actual work gets done. Better results in project teams can come in the initial phase if project teams have project management expertise.
10.) State what’s working, as well as how to improve what’s not
Teams need to understand that problems don’t equal solutions. Solutions = Solutions. Teams must quickly acknowledge problems when they exist, then work to determine what will take the place of the problem.