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Best Practices in Team Effectiveness

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The “Chemistry” Factor in Teams

What’s the secret sauce? On paper, it’s easy to assemble the right mix of talent to predict team success. Just stock the team with leadership, deep skills in the specialization area of the project, a diligent group of worker bees, and reliable administrative support. The rest will take care of itself, right? Unfortunately, not. Once you blend in the human element, most teams find ways to struggle as conflict, mistrust, fear, and resistance to change impact the group’s direction. So, where does positive team “chemistry” come from?

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Ten Advantages of Face-to-Face Exchange

It’s easier than ever to conduct business without ever coming face-to-face with another human being. Smartphones, video conferences, texts, emails, and any number of social media platforms have made it possible to communicate from afar. There’s safety in not having to worry about pace, tone, mood, posture, body language, and eye contact.

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We’re Stuck. What Do We Do?

Ask three simple questions and then choose a course of action:

  1. Where is our team in its lifecycle?
  2. Why are we in this stage?
  3. What should we do to move our team forward?

All teams travel through predictable cycles of investment, trust, innovation, and change. Knowing where you are validates the emotional reaction to current challenges. Understanding why the team is experiencing any obstacle is the key to getting unstuck. A diagnosis ignites an action plan. Consider this simple model:

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10,000 Repetitions

What competency do you wish to master? Life is short. It takes a significant commitment to specialize. Beyond baseline talent and the gift of opportunity, mastery requires repetition. By most standards, practicing a skill 10,000 times elevates it to a new level. Martial artists know this as they deliver dozens of kicks, punches, and self-defense maneuvers to their daily workout routines. Musicians know this as they pound out scales in every key signature. Writers only get better by writing. So what about mastering relationships? Perhaps every organization should have a team expert. How might this happen?

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