The most significant test to any team is to appreciate the culture and the dynamics of people working together to reach a common goal. With the growth of integrated working new models of working, understanding the dynamics of teamwork is even more paramount.

Teams come together for many reasons; they are different from ‘groups’ where there is a tendency of having leaders and followers. In a team or at least a successful team; members all play an important role in reaching specific goals. These could be a temporary team working on a project or a ‘business as usual team’ or department whose aim is to fulfil a function within an organisation.

How do you get people with diverse personalities and backgrounds to be high-performing and foster effectiveness and productivity?

I have put together some tips to help in developing a winning team:

  1. Focus, Clarity and Energy – It is essential for the team to establish a clear focus on where they are going and clarity on what the goals for the team and the whole organisation are. The value of all team members knowing where to focus their attention and energy is the most significant goal. Creating a clear vision will serve the team in the time of differences and help to manage the diverse personalities within the team, and across teams. Focus and clarity will help any team to gain behavioural-driven energy and intentionality. It will help give team members opportunities to explore where their strengths and weaknesses lay, thereby finding solutions quickly.
  2. Individuals must learn about other team members – Colleagues make teams function, it is crucial for individuals within the team to get acquainted with other team members. Simple things like knowing their names and a few facts about them help to show care for others. If you are new to the team especially; ask who are the different players. Showing interest in others will help you settle in. If someone new joins the team, the existing members of the team also should make an effort to make the new members feel welcome and feel comfortable. It could be simple things like, sharing a cup of coffee, showing the new person where you keep the paper or including the person at the socials if any.
  3. One person’s success is whole team success – Healthy competition is great for productivity and morale. However, the worst teams are those that think good ideas are individual successes. Conversely, successful teams encourage creative thinking from all team members and celebrate those great ideas team’s success. It is one of the most critical parts of a teamwork-based culture.
  4. Reserve blame and avoid awkwardness – We all make mistakes; winning teams share responsibility for what goes wrong. In such teams, people do not discuss controversial topics like sexuality, religion, race or politics. It has the potential of seeming too politically correct. Nonetheless, it is just making everyone in the team comfortable and concentrating on the team goals. Do not condemn other team members or the company even if others do. If something needs clearing, go to the person involved and try to speak calmly to them. If you do not manage to resolve the issue amicably, respectfully escalate it.

In conclusion, if you follow the above, you are onto a winning team.  It is in every leader’s and team member’s interest to improve the team further. Winning teams continually seek to improve their position here are some questions you might ask yourself constantly:

  • Where are the gaps in clarity?
  • What goals do you aim to achieve?
  • Are you on track to achieving the goals?
  • How can you always improve your interaction with others?

Amina Chitembo MSc. is the Founder & CEO, Diverse Cultures Publishing, UK. Learn more at:colleagues-437024_1280

www.aminachitembo.com  and  www.diverse-cultures.co.uk 

+44(0)7447669200

@aminachitembo

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