Project Aristotle - a three-year case study undertaken by Google (read the NYTimes blog piece here) attempted to do just that "build the perfect team". Thanks to Mel Robbins for this very insightful aha moment, love your work Mel #5SecondRule.
I mean who wouldn't want the perfect team? What wouldn't that do for your profits, time and efforts if your team were all on board and working toward the common goal - all the time!
I am currently re-immersing myself in the work of living legend Simon Sinek- British/American Anthropologist, who notably wrote "Start with Why" and my current favourite "Leaders eat last, why some teams pull together and others don't"! A must-read for anyone in any shape of leadership. Why I mention him is because his standing and findings from an Anthropological point of view and that of the Google findings is one and the same. How team members treated each other was the make or break characteristic which perfect teams demonstrated.
I have two questions for you to see if your team is on target to being more cohesive, more aligned: (1) at the last staff meeting you had, did everyone have a chance to say something? In other words, did every single member have the chance to say something? (2) on a scale from 0-10 with 10 being amazing, how psychologically (not physically) safe would you say your team feels? Meaning do members sit on the fence out of fear of being wrong or do they freely contribute? Is a culture of compliance being fostered without anyone realising this?
The most successful rugby union team in the world, the mighty All Blacks do point #1 so well. They are an outstanding force to model when it comes to sharing the floor and allowing everyone the opportunity to speak. To say their truth, to tell their story - it is called whare (a Māori meeting-house). [TASK] at your next meeting - write down the name of everyone who is attending. Throughout the beginning of the meeting, once the extroverts have led and made a noise - tick off who has contributed. Where there are blank spaces on your paper, open the floor for whare - for your meeting-house! See the difference it makes.
As for #2 - psychological safety, what was your score out of 10? #1 - letting everyone talk may seem like a tall order or pipe dream. But have you ever thought that perhaps the reason why some in the team don't contribute is that they don't feel safe? Because they feel that someone may throw them under the bus, or that they will be spoken "over". Why bother when no-one will listen. Fail as a leader to create an environment of safety (no matter how much team building you do) and your staff engagement and effectiveness will nose dive!
But over to you. Which one could use strengthening in your current team? #1 or #2? Have you had a look at the Simon Sinek book? What action have you taken or are you about to take as a result of reading this blog!
Love to hear your thoughts and insights and of course if you want to take things a step further please do so, there are many options that may work for you:
OR. Join the Team Building Dojo and connect with other managers or business leaders who are in a similar position to you. It’s our new Facebook community where smart leaders learn tricks and tips to make a larger impact and understand their staff behaviours better — Click Here
Another Option. Join our Explore Program and be the next Case Study We are putting together a new gamification and coaching case study group at Team Building Agents this month... stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your team building plans... just send us a message and put “Case Study” in the subject line, and we will get you all the details for Phase #1 Explore. Email: email@example.com
OR. Work with us and our team privately [URGENT and IMMEDIATE Start] If you’d like to work directly with us and our team, in order to take your team from dysfunctional to fully honed and toned... please email us and put “Private” in the subject line... tell us a little about your business and team (what has and hasn’t worked in the past) and what you’d like to work on together, and we will expedite your next steps. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org