The 5 Building Blocks of an Effective Team

It is important to recognize some of the symptoms of a poor performing team. They include but are not limited to:

  1. Ambiguity, poor miscommunication and confusion. That leads to…
  2. Rework or sloppy work, missed goals. That leads to…
  3. Loss of customer trust and satisfaction. That leads to…
  4. Loss of sales, and that leads to…
  5. Lower revenue and a suffering bottom line.

If poor performing teams directly impact the bottom line, why does the issue go unaddressed in some organizations? In my years of working with organizations, I’ve seen THREE primary reasons.

First, the manager is at a loss for dealing with the team at an individual level. There are two reasons people change – they are moving toward pleasure or away from pain. If the pain is not bad enough, things stay status quo. Same with moving toward pleasure. So if one person on the team is not motivated in either direction, they simply will not change.

Second, addressing team functionality doesn’t make the high priority list. It’s seen as ‘fluff’ or ‘extra’. I’ve seen organizations in fire-fighting mode and never get to a place where they can oil the machine because they’re too busy dealing with the breakdowns. But the breakdowns will always happen until they pause for some regular maintenance.

Third, it happens slowly and is not noticeable until it’s a problem. Let’s say someone starts showing up for every meeting just 3 minutes late. That becomes accepted by the group. In fact, others know the meeting won’t start on time and so they show up 5 minutes late. That becomes the norm. Then someone starts coming 7 or 8 minutes late. From the previous 5 minutes, it is a slight slip, hardly noticeable. Now 8 minutes late becomes the new norm. The norm continues to shift until one day someone notices that meetings always start 15 minutes late. What started as a very small shift of 3 minutes slowly morphed into the new norm of 15 minutes late.

Over time, the trajectory shifts slowly but surely toward a new direction. Like a rocket with its power boosters pointing in the wrong direction, the team slowly drifts off track if a course correction is not made.

To build an effective team, it all starts with trust.

  1. TRUST. If team members don’t trust one another, they cannot engage in respectful debate. This is necessary for…
  2. HEALTHY DISCUSSIONS and cultivating new ideas. When teams engage in productive, respectful debate, they can move to the next level of effective teams which is…
  3. COMMITMENT. When each person committed to the success of the team, not their own individual success. Once each team member knows that everyone is committed to the team, each person has…
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY. Members on a team hold themselves, and their team mates, accountable for their actions. This leads to the desired…
  5. RESULTS. Desired results are simply a symptom of trust, healthy discussion, commitment and accountability.

A baseball team is a good example of a highly functioning team. The pitcher doesn’t need to look over his shoulder to make sure the second basemen is where he is supposed to be, or that the outfielders are paying attention. Each player knows the individuals are committed to their positions and can focus on their own job for the success of the team.



Source by Leigh-Ann Zaharevich

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *