In my the highschool years, I played playing softball with the team. We were not very successful, and in reality, we won only just a few games. However, we had a good time, encouraged one another, and were supportive. There was undoubtedly a sense of happiness within the team. But we also had the goal of winning games, but this was not taking place.
Teams exist to achieve results. Positive team environments with no results aren’t productive. Equally, a team that is driven by results but without a positive attitude won’t work as well. It doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is in agreement and can be a good team every day. There should exist constructive conflicts. However, the most effective relationships are more positive than negative. Teams that lack trust and fear of conflict or lack of motivation typically aren’t the best performers. Highly-performing teams are effective and positive.
This article gives eight strategies to help teams build positivity. My experience with teams within companies has shown that teams with the worst dysfunction can transform into a highly-performing group with the right attitude and team-based coaching. What percentage of you have ever been on a highly successful team? I’m sure that many of us have a memory of terrible team experiences prior to the positive ones. It could be because top-performing teams aren’t as prevalent. In his study, John Gottman has identified four communication styles that are toxic within teams and relationships that can cause team disintegration in time:
Criticism and/or Blame: attacking the person instead of the behavior.
Defensiveness: reacting negatively upon being faced with a challenge.
Stonewalling can mean stopping communication, silent treatment, refusing to participate, and withdrawal.
Contempt: can include sarcasm, being sarcastic, belittling as well as name-calling and even sarcastic humor.
The continuous usage of these toxic substances every day can be destructive to relationships and teams. The toxins can ruin teams and individuals who are part of the team. These toxins are pretty obvious and, if they are present, can destroy the team. There are other more subtle ways in which teams can be ineffective. Teams with low trust levels cannot engage in an unfiltered and passionate discussion of ideas.
Consider the teams you’re on in your workplace. Are there feelings of trust, where everyone is able to share thoughts or ideas without fear of being judged? Do you see an issue that nobody is acknowledging? Perhaps everyone is going in the same direction as the boss because of fear? A high-performance team will not happen overnight. However, there are methods that could have an immediate effect.
Here are eight suggestions for encouraging positivity within teams:
1. Learn to see the vision that inspires you.
A lot of teams don’t know what their role is as a unit. It is essential to know and communicate. This will ensure that each member is on the page. For the executive team, it could be as simple as explaining their role in executing the company’s goals and vision.
2. Create a team contract.
Establishing operating guidelines will allow the team to start a discussion regarding the type of culture they wish to establish for the team. What is the best way to make the team thrive? What will make the team be able to work together when things get difficult? What are the specific actions that are expected? What behavior is not to be tolerated? The discussion that follows creates the foundation for honesty and constructive conflict among teams. If the group is willing to hear different viewpoints on issues, people will be more likely to be vocal.
3. Define the roles and roles and.
Then define what each team member is accountable for. Most often, conflict or confusion in teams is due to members not knowing what they are expected to do within the team. What is the objective that the members of the team serve? What is each member accountable for? Another option is to assign tasks, such as “devil’s advocate” to team members. This will ensure that the team has a diverse perspective and helps set the stage for a constructive discussion.
4. Personal activity to record your history.
Make a list of personal questions that could be given to each team member. These questions do not have to be sensitive and are more geared towards making friends with each other. For instance, “what’s one of your most favorite things to do?” for instance, “what did you do for your initial job?”. These questions let you establish a relationship at a personal level. I know of a group that begins each meeting with a single similar question.
5. Plan a retreat off-site.
We get overwhelmed by day-to-day business that teams don’t take the time to define specific goals or simply establish the foundations of the team. Set aside a single or two-day offsite retreat that focuses on strengthening relationships with the team. It could be through team activities or personality inventories such as Myers-Briggs.
6. Real-time permission.
The author Patrick Lencioni suggests that in the process of constructive conflict, the team members work together to stay engaged in a healthy discussion. If the participants in conflict feel discontent with the amount of conflict, they should be interrupted to remind them that what they’re doing is essential. This can encourage healthy debate.
7. Create personal connections.
Inspire team members to establish relationships outside of the team environment—plan coffee breaks or lunches to meet one another and share stories.
8. Establish an accountability structure.
At the conclusion of every meeting, you should review the decisions that were taken and establish dates for milestones that are clear. One person should publish the actions that were agreed upon and then distribute them to team members. At the start of every meeting to see how things are going. This establishes the stage for accountability and improves the chances that goals are met.