How much of a team is your team, really?

How much of a team do your “teams” really feel? I remember as a teenager playing rugby that I would have done anything for my teammates – stood up to others who were threatening them, helped them out of all sorts of problems, celebrated with them when they – or I – scored, commiserated when we lost. I have felt something of that in some of the teams I have belonged to over the years in business – but certainly not always and often with much less intensity.

I hear this too from our clients. When we ask them to pick a “peak team performance” its often quite hard for them to pick one out! Even when they do it seems so distinctive as to cast a long shadow over the rest. And it’s surprising how many choose sporting teams despite years in organisational teams. So what is missing here? And how can we get that sense of real team togetherness to be fully present in our work place teams?

I suggest we need to get to know each other more as people first and then as colleagues and not the other way around. This isn’t just about going on a “team building jolly” somewhere (although done well team time away from the normal routine can definitely help!) but it is about seeing the person in front of you and giving them a sense they are valued for who they are and not just what they contribute. Only then, once you know your team mates for people, will you feel as if you are part of a 15-person squad running out onto a pitch and know that you can rely on every single other person who’s with you.

Consider the following questions in relation to your business:

  • When was your last peak-team performance?
  • Would you identify your work team as a true team as described on a rugby union football pitch?
  • If you do feel that you want a change, when will be the time for you to reconsider what we might need to do more of to build that sense of fun, passion and commitment to each other into our teams?

Team building is another of these buzz words, but as team days every 3 or 6 months, rarely sets the course for long-term team performance. If you feel like you would like to make a team-change at your workplace, email Tim for a chat and see how he does it.

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