Creating Hi-Performing Work Teams:
It’s About Balance & Style
In the world of sports, hi-performing teams are balanced-complementary talents are carefully organized to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The most successful of these top-performing teams harness the unique strengths of each individual, and add a coach to direct and facilitate both individual and group success.
In business, we seem to have abandoned this highly successful concept of teambuilding in favor of building teams of players with similar characteristics. When we have conflicts on our business teams, we try to isolate the “trouble-makers,” or we remove them all together. There is little room for differences, and little tolerance for people who don’t think, act and adhere like their peers.
What powerful teams we could build if we merely understood the differences in how people behave, and as managers, were able to harness these differences for the benefit of the company.
Each company has people in its midst who are good at directing and like to solve problems. Other people prefer to hold back and gather more information before acting. Some people are verbally persuasive and good at interacting with people, and others are more skeptical and less likely to verbalize, but, instead, listen very well. There are the “stabilizers,” those who uphold the status quo and become the “glue” in the organization. Conversely, there are people who constantly seek change and want to juggle as many things as they can. Then there are the people who work well alone, follow rules, and analyze data carefully. Contrast these with the folks who want to know “why?” and “isn’t there a better way to do this?”
These differences can be either the makings of a disgruntled, conflict-ridden employee population, or the makings of a balanced, hi-performing organization. The difference in the results that are achieved have primarily to do with the ability of the management, or “coach,” to compose these individuals in a complementary whole.
A good coach/manager lets each individual know that their strengths are recognized and lets other team members know of each person’s contributions to the team. Recognizing and valuing differences requires less time and energy than is required to get everyone on the same page, conforming to the same mold.
Let’s face it; its much more fun to just “play ball!” It also sets everyone up in the most enviable position of all: winner!