Over the last few weeks, I have found myself talking about and working with a wide variety of ‘Teams’.
Sporting, business, remote, sectional all diverse groups of people brought together in different ways and for vastly contrasting reasons.
Each of them made up of an assortment of experience, skill, understanding, knowledge and intellect. Each of them with both individual and collective strengths as well as corresponding weakness.
The task for me is how do I improve the performance, output or effectiveness of the team. A task that by the way, I cherish. In one sense simply by the opportunity and the challenge and in another the possibility to see a group of people become something above the benchmark.
But what does it take? How does this all happen? These and similar type questions are usually asked of me by the powers at be or those responsible for getting me involved.
My usual response is to turn return serve the questions and ask “What is it that you see in and around the group?” “What brings this team together”? What keeps it apart?” “What are their Blindspots?”
The answers to most of these type of questions are standing right in front of anyone who cares to take some time to observe the group in action. But observing in a way not to disturb the natural patterns of workflow, interaction, process, conflict, communication etc.
Without discounting the worth of the obvious you also need to look beyond it. What are some of the not so obvious insights that give true and accurate detail about the team? The little differences, the nuances that are not always present but ones that have a huge influence on what the team does, where it goes, how it reacts and what are its response patterns?
All of this degree of detail and a whole lot more is there for us to observe, witness and understand. Time, effort, patience and poise will provide a higher level of understanding of the team, who it trusts, how it does things, why and what it’s about.
The observation, however, must be free of prejudice, bias and preconceived ideas. See it, for how and what it is and then once you understand the group through unbiased observation and understanding the information that emanates will go along way in answering your questions about how to take the group or team forward.
Therefore making sure that in all the right ways and for all the right reasons…
The Journey Continues!