Myth one - One and Done - Many teams and organizations believe that a once a year team building initiative is gong to be sustainable. Team development needs to happen over time and multiple conversations. Wherever emphasis should be made in the one day programs that this is part of a process, and links should be made for the team
Myth two - we can do it all ourselves. As a former leader myself tasked with developing multiple teams I know how easy it is to think we can do it all - facilitate the sessions, present and connect with all our team members.. Is there a way you can partner with another resource (internal or external) to free you up to be able to spend time during the session(s) to be an active participant, noticing the different perspectives, patterns and habits the teams are in.
Myth Three - We need to all be aligned and similar. High performing teams often bring complimentary, and different skill sets and perspectives.What we know about his performing teams is that they are complimentary and know how to work across differences. Divergent ways of thinking can lead to better results, expanding the range of possibility. Key with divergent thinking is the ability of a team to agree upon a shared and common focus gong forward and to execute on this.
Myth Four - It's all about relationships and getting along. Any team development process should be linked back to what we know of team effectiveness. Whether we connect it with frameworks such as The Five Behaviors/Dysfunctions of a Cohesive Team from Patrick Lencioni, or several of the other team performance models, we want to ground conversation and focus on the relationships that exist along with goals and performance measures for the team, You can listen to one of our first Team Leader Breakfast Cafe sessions as I address the topic of the six factors of high performing teams. Linking the event back to business results is key.
What do you see as the myths that exist within your organization around team building and team development. What focus do you want to place on strengthening your team this year? What can this look like?
Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Author of From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching(Jossey-Bass, 2013) and Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
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