Being surrounded by mediocrity frustrates creativity, prevents productivity and impedes progress. Moreover, stay-at-home technologies such as Skype, Go-To-Meetings and Fuze Meeting make building traditional teams nearly impossible.
Instead of scraping the entire team and starting from scratch, let’s examine a few things you can do today to turn a low performing team into results-achieving rock stars.
Create team chemistry
Knowing how to address someone’s individual motives, carries with it unlimited power to lead the team. Does the person want to be seen, or desire more power, a financial raise or are they just trying to get by? Make your own assessment of each person’s secret intent and use that information to drive them towards the goal they want, not yours. Trying to force individuals into “team submission” never works. However, become their bridge to individual achievement by leading each member with their “unstated” goals. This will drive them to do things they perhaps would not ordinarily want to do. The end results of this process are high “team chemistry”.
A team leader creates chemistry amongst his team members by combining the efforts and abilities of members in the right way. Just as no two people are identical, no two teams are identical. Consequently, what works well for one team may not work well for others. Good team chemistry occurs when there is an understanding of individual motives, a cohesive decision-making process and a trusted team leader casting a compelling shared vision that each team member buys into. This will turn a simple collection of talented members into a cohesive unit who understands that the team is greater than each individual. That type of thinking creates good chemistry. Vince Lombardi, the legendary late coach of the Green Bay Packers once said about his football team, “We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible as individuals.”
Put people in the natural position
Every person is born with innate talents, skills and abilities. Look beyond the member’s education and job titles to their natural gifts. Like a good basketball coach with five players on the floor, it’s your job to place your players in their natural position. Some can write, others can present, another can close a sale, and perhaps another understands numbers. When this happens, each team members will feels appreciated and the entire team wins.
Beware placing member on a team simply because of their spiritual gift, education, back ground, job title or even experience. A team member may have a title of minister, but may actually not like to speak publicly. Place a team member in accordance with their personal interest, God-given talents and natural skills. When you do this, it would feel like a chore to the team member. A team member playing a team role in accordance with his innate skills will approach the team with a renewed confidence because he or she will be comfortable with their role. The team member will count it a privilege to play his role on the team as opposed to simply fulfilling a job requirement. You can count of this particular team player to go the extra mile on behalf of the team and its leader.
Develop role clarity
Teams with higher levels of individual role clarity equates to higher levels of team effectiveness. Several leading studies on role clarity have been recently conducted by Steven Bray of the University of Lethbridge and Lawrence Brawley of the University of Waterloo which cited “individuals who reported higher role clarity also reported higher role effectiveness and performed better than those with lower role clarity.” As a team leader or person delegating the team’s goals, don’t assume a team member understands his or her role on the team. Get rid of foggy, unclear thinking by unequivocally ensuring everyone understand their roles. Begin by putting his or her role in writing and have each team member sign it. Additionally, allow other team members to read other team member’s roles and responsibilities. This eliminates all assumptive thinking and promotes clarity of individual goals. In Hollywood, a good actor not only knows their individual lines but the lines of other the actors in the scene. A good actor working with other actors understands it is a teamwork that makes the dream work.
Turn an under-performing team into result-achieving team by implementing the three solutions above. Every rock star leader must have a rock star performing team.