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Team Cycles

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The Quick and Easy Team Assessment Tool

Take a snapshot of your team. Do you share closeness and connection or are teammates guarded and distant? Is your work built on collaborative interdependence or courageous independence? Depending on where your team falls in each of these quadrants, specific team dynamics are activated. This tells you both why you are struggling and what to work on. Let’s look at each quadrant.

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5 Windows of Opportunity

Strategic plans age quickly. Conditions often shift within months of consensus and clarity. There are many drivers of changing priorities: talent, technology, financial pressure, acquisition, and loss to name a few. Any change opens a window of opportunity to rethink direction. Consider these 5 key places to invest energy following a disruption on the team.

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The Personal Side of Work Friendships

Most of our waking hours are spent with professional colleagues. Family and friends own the biggest portion of our hearts but work teammates win the quantity contest. While the setting and the stakes might be different, the recipe for building strong connections is the same whether at home or at the office. Let’s look at the ingredients.

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Four Stages of Team Growth

Adversity teaches us how to cope. Occasionally, we come up from an underground subway platform to street level and momentarily lose our bearings. Where am I? Which way is north? In that fleeting moment where nothing looks familiar, we are lost. The fear center of our brain gets activated as we fend off panic and search for direction. Of course, no one stays lost forever. Eventually, learning occurs. Consider what might happen if we got lost on purpose. A good crisis provides many lessons. Let’s look at how growth unfolds.

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Stay Stuck or Move Forward

If you take a snapshot of a team, you get a glimpse of the traditional forming/storming/norming/performing moment in time. If you film a movie of the same team, you get a series of cycles filled with obstacles, problem-solving, innovation, change, and adaptation. Teams rarely follow straight-line trajectories. Most often, they evolve through multiple iterations of talent, turnover, leadership style, and culture. As the story unfolds, team wellness and productivity rises and falls. How might this impact your team?

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