Five Secrets to High-Performing Teams That You Should Adopt Right Now
A blueprint for building successful teams
What is the first thing that you do when you hear this in a workshop for your company?
“Break into groups with three to four people and work through the activity on a board. We’ll meet again in 20 minutes to discuss our results.
Do you make eye contact immediately with your friends and form an unspoken agreement to be a partner? Or do you look at the people in front of you and say, “How ’bout it?” Using proximity as your grouping mechanism
Most people fall into one of these two camps if they are not able to self-organize. Here’s the big question: Which team is more efficient?
We spent most of our school years separated from our friends at group breakouts to avoid “getting on task.” But studies have shown that friends are more productive than non-friends and acquaintances.
This performance advantage can be found in all age groups and is even more evident in large teams. What is it about friendship that makes groups more productive?
Why are friends great partners?
Friends have a clear advantage in performance because they have spent time getting to understand one another and have formed bonds through sharing and mutual vulnerability. This connection and social capital is what allows them to excel as colleagues.
Friends can make great teammates but friendship is not a requirement for high-performing groups. It’s not the friendship itself that is important. These components are the same as the ones needed to build social capital at work.
Organizations that recognize the importance of social capital in team effectiveness and take steps towards fostering this environment will reap huge benefits, including increased output, employee engagement, and revenue.
Even small changes can make a big difference. A call center that rescheduled coffee breaks to ensure that all employees had a break saw $15 million in productivity increases and a 10% increase of employee satisfaction.
Below we outline five key aspects of social capital and offer suggestions for how to use this information to build high-performing teams in your organization.
Five ways to increase team effectiveness
1. Take the time to build trust
Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, even those that make up project teams. People cannot work together and achieve meaningful outcomes without trust.
When we show behaviors in three areas, trust is built
While it takes time to build trust and you can only erode trust if you take the opposite actions. As John Blakey states in Management-Issues.com, trust is a formula involving multiplication, not addition:
benevolencexintegrityxcompetence = trustworthiness
Your trustworthiness will be affected if you score zero in any area. Individuals who score high in all three areas will be more trustworthy than those who struggle with one or the other.
How to implement this practice in your team: Time is often scarce, but it is crucial to build trust. Team members can build trust by allowing them to get to know each other (e.g. shared coffee breaks, team outings). ).
As a leader, it is important to recognize your team members for their efforts in these areas. You can praise someone who takes on more work to meet a deadline or acknowledge someone who works hard to learn a new skill or pilot a new project.
2. Demonstrate empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and respond to another person’s emotions and experiences without imposing our own agenda. Empathy is essential for teams because it helps to frame how we communicate.