In today's working environment, teams are an unavoidable component.
Whether they are formal or informal, teams today drive the direction in
which businesses grow. All teams however are not created equal, and even
in an organization in which individuals can be assumed to have comparable
levels of education and experience, some teams just do better than
others. Why is that?
A 2012 study, featured in the Harvard Business Review revealed two important factors that contributed to the success of
teams and ultimately increased their productivity. These were:
1. Communication Style: Successful teams focus not just on the
content of the messages that they are delivering, but also how those
messages are conveyed. High energy, enthusiasm and confidence can
elevate the level of interest in content, and also inspire confidence in
both in the bearer of the message and those receiving it. This in turn
promotes active rather than passive listening and encourages those
within a team to discuss and share ideas, until the most effective one is
selected and implemented. Now, this is not fool-proof, some of the
worst ideas in history have been developed by teams. However, by
creating an environment which makes communicating and sharing ideas
interesting and engaging, there is a greater chance that ideas will be
introduced, disregarded and refined until the best one is identified.
2. Informal Interactions: Informal in this context does not equal
unprofessional, rather if focuses on teams building bonds beyond their
simple functional working relationships. This fosters trust and the
impression within the team, that members are valued as individuals and
not just resources needed to create output. These kinds of interactions give
team members the opportunity to hold discussions in an atmosphere that
is unstructured and unconstrained encouraging further creativity and
Reflect on experiences that you've had with
successful teams. How did the communication style and level of informal interactions impact your team dynamic? What else made your team unique?
Below are links to some great team building exercises that you can engage your team in.
Team Building With a Purpose
3 Team Building Exercises Tailored to Unique Business Challenges
Building and Leading High Performance Teams
Quick Guide of Effective Team Building Activities
Share what you've done!
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