The Team within the Team

As complicated as team dynamics can be, effective teamwork usually begins with simple relationship wellness. Teams are built on a foundation of interpersonal interaction. Communication is the action that multiplies the energy of the group. The health of the team is dependent on the quality of the exchange between its members. While some teams devote valuable time to the politics that often resemble the cliques in a high school cafeteria, other teams opt for clear, adult, mature, and productive give-and-take. Consider these seven drivers of constructive relationships:

Civility: The way we choose to treat each other, especially under stress, creates the platform for future sharing.

Clarity: Although there may be many paths to the same destination, our common goal should be clear.

Contrast: Our differences in perspective, while uncomfortable, will eventually fuel innovation.

Responsibility: Trust is strengthened when we do what we say we’re going to do.

Risk: Amazing things occur when the environment is safe for experimentation.

Relinquishing: Remain graceful during the losses and disappointments that are woven into the fabric of all relationships.

Refocusing: The most energizing aspect of change is embracing the new circumstances that follow.

Rehearse relationship skills on a daily basis at work, home, and play. How you treat your colleagues, family, and friends drives the wellness of your teams. The team within the team begins with you.

Steve Ritter is the Founder & CEO of the Team Clock Institute and the Managing Director of the Midwest Institute & Center for Workplace Innovation. You can learn more about executive coaching opportunities at