That’s a question I received during an intake meeting for teamcoaching last week. Everyone was quiet and had to think about that question. So what makes a team? We started with a brainstorm on their experiences of what makes a great or terrible team.

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Their results for teams that thrive

  • Common goals
  • Knowing each other’s talents, strengths and weaknesses
  • Connection both on the job and personal
  • Challenging and supporting each other
  • Trust
  • Delegation and freedom to make choices
  • Authenticity
  • Fun – and lots of it!

However teams that need to revive had:

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  • No clear team goal or vision
  • More scattered tasks
  • Fragmented
  • Complaining instead of finding solutions
  • Unhealthy competition

Phases of team development

After brainstorming we talked about the different phases of team development: 1) loose sand; 2) first step; 3) connection and 4) top team. So where would you rate your team, I asked the team members. Overall, this team is quite new (less than one year), so they just started and then came Covid 19. The working context is highly demanding. So, focus is to go-go-go and deliver as much as possible. Most team members rated the team is still in phase 1 “loose sand”, but there is willingness to grow. Currently, there is limited collaboration between the team members, but the individual relationship with the team manager is good. A great starting point for team coaching, yet came this question that triggered everyone, are we really a team? It’s a fantastic question to continue the dialogue next time.

Corporate team ≠ Sports team

It got me thinking about teams in general. Using the metaphor of a sports team to compare is easy to imagine, but is this realistic? Sports teams have one main goal, winning. It’s the ultimate and only real goal. But it’s not the case for this corporate team. Or at least thats not how they defined it now. They have a multitude of deliverables, all with the pressure to deliver more, faster, with greater insights and value. No wonder that everyone is focused on their own tasks, and simply put – trying to deliver as much as they can.

What if they would take time to connect as a team…. What treasures are hidden within? Can they use talents, competencies and drives of the team in a more effective way? Learn from each other, improve processes simply because two know more than one? And finally, could it be that discussing together and understanding the complexity we work in, gives room to breathe, support and challenge each other to find better ways to deliver results and have more fun & sense of accomplishment while doing it?

Who knows, maybe they can be a successful sportsteam after all!

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#teamcoaching #delivermore #betterresults #teamwork

All pictures from Unsplash – thanks to Guille Alvarez, Louis Hansel and Vince Fleming

Verbinding is Business is coaching organisations, teams and professionals with the goal to develop, grow and have better results. More success, happiness, fun and business.