Build a Super Team

The Findings
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 collaboration.

Individual Exercises

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?

Group Exercises

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

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