Unleash the power of team

The five secrets of great teams.

The five secrets of great teams.

We all know that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole thanks to Aristotle. But there might be some things about teams that you didn’t know. These secrets could surprise, delight and remind you of the power of your team and its untapped potential.


Secret 1: Teams know more than you do, so ask them

There has been a lot written and researched on the wisdom of the team and it proves beyond a doubt that two heads are better than one. So, why do leaders insist on solving problems on their own or delegating them to a lone individual to do it all themselves? Providing the team with a challenge to solve together breeds inspiration, builds greater team collaboration, dynamics, and, ultimately, increases the performance of the team

Secret 2: Teams set bigger, bolder goals than individuals

Leaders typically operate at extremes when setting goals, either too weak or too big. When teams get together, they tend to be realistic about setting goals and will typically push a little harder for something that inspires, energises and excites them. Jim Collins coined the concept of BHAG which is a ‘Big, Hairy and Audacious Goal’. Audacity is the key to a BHAG - it’s got to have some ego, some boldness that compels people to want to achieve it. Teams are experts at creating BHAG’s.

Secret 3: Teams will give more gratitude, recognition and compassion.

It’s no secret that no matter what our age, us human beings flourish the more gratitude, recognition and compassion we receive. So why do some leaders seem to hold all the cards when it comes to giving these out? And when given out, why do they seem so stingy? Whatever the reason, gratitude, recognition and compassion are key attributes of a high performing team and are shared freely as teams typically have greater visibility of each other’s success (recognition) and failures (compassion) and ability to help each other out (gratitude).

Secret 4: Together the team is more resilient

Team members have varying degrees of resiliency but the team, as a whole, has greater resiliency than the sum of its parts because great teams are open about their challenges, mistakes and frustrations. Through their openness to share and trust, the problem is halved. People have a natural inclination to want to help another person who is struggling, especially if we know them. In a high performing team, that help is multiplied by the factor of the team

Secret 5: Teams hold each other accountable

Leaders can sometimes find holding team members accountable for deliverables challenging. But teams have a built-in, fail-safe mechanism of accountability which is called ‘peer pressure’. Ingrained since childhood, failing in front of our peers is something we would rather resist. Also, in a team, most actions are chosen based on common preference so people have a natural inclination to want to achieve something they like and have chosen.

So there you have it, the ‘top five secrets of great teams’. Try to employ at least a couple of them with your team and start reaping the benefits of greater team performance.

If you would like to attend a free seminar which delves further in to the secrets of great teams, click here.

Sarah Friis is an author, facilitator and mentor of high performance teams. She has recently published “The Power of Team – A practical guide to breakthrough performance”. Sarah has a Masters in Psychology and is co-founder of The Performance Team, a leading New Zealand consultancy dedicated to unleashing the power of team. www.theperformanceteam.co.nz