We all know the short-list of things we need to do to build an effective team at work:
Create a common purpose
Ensure clarity of roles
Provide clear, supportive leadership.
I like those as general rules. Like breathing, they’re a good habit. But they’re not enough. You can follow them and still end up with a mess.
There are at least four other actions that often go missing in our workplace teams.
When they’re present, the odds of great things happening go up considerably.
4 Keys to Successful Team Building:
- Quit surrounding yourself with people who look and think like you.
- Find people who respect and trust you enough to disagree with you. And then listen to them.
- Ask them: What do you need me to do to help you succeed? And then do it.
- Hire for values. Fire for not living up to the values.
Find people who respect you enough to disagree with you, and then listen to them.
The first two bring the ideas of diversity and inclusion to life. It’s not an h.r. or corporate program, it’s about tapping into the experiences and gray matter of people who experience the world differently. This may be the X factor for success in our world today.
Number three goes to trust. Deep trust. Without it, performance will suffer. Most people on teams in the workplace don’t trust each other. Or, they don’t trust each other enough. Solve this or prepare to struggle.
The last one goes to character. If character is a question, it’s a problem. In every circumstance where leaders support and sustain individuals whose values don’t tangibly and visibly reflect the firm’s or team’s values, the resultant toxicity destroys morale and performance.