As Michael Jordon said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. But what are the right behaviours for effective teamwork in the workplace? You can increase perfomance quickly by examining what the team actually does together.
Over three posts, I have been exploring how to use CAB – the three key moderators to team performance of: cognition; affective-motivation; behaviour. As presented by Kozlowski and Bell in 2003, this simple structure to make sense of your teamwork, identify strengths and development needs, opportunities to reward and celebrate, and what to focus on to make the biggest difference.
- In the first post I wrote about Cognition – how individual thinking and knowledge becomes team thinking and knowledge
- In the second post I wrote about Affective-motivation – How people feel about the team, each other, the task and the goal.
In this third and final post we will look at Behaviour – What the team actually does when working together.
Only now are you ready to look at what the nuts and bolts of the team processes. These processes are the norms that form in all team; deliberately or organically – for better or worse! You might have great clarity on roles and responsibilities, have a motivated team with a clear vision and goal for the team. But if your meetings are poorly run, or not know how to make decisions together, your performance will never be where you want it.
And for most teams the biggest behavioural element is how the team communicates. The quality and quantity of communication, on an interpersonal and group level, will have a huge effect on teams. When you get good at presenting and exchanging information, evaluating, deciding, reviewing, disagreeing, giving and receiving feedback then you have a far higher likelihood of succeeding.
Being good at these behaviours requires explicit attention.
- Designing and agreeing to simple rules on how meetings are structured and run.
- Contracting with each other on how and when you brainstorm and critique ideas.
- Making sure decisions are smart and committed to by all.
- And making sure you review and hold each other accountable to these processes.
The other key behavioural component is how good you are at coordinating activities: avoiding duplications, omissions and confusion; putting the right people for the right tasks and the right partnerships. If you’re the manager, make sure people take the time to put these checks in place.
So, I invite you to stop and evaluate how good your people are at the norms, behaviours and the processes they have around them, individually and as a team. What are your meetings and emails like?
When you get this part right, you are really going to see some quick and powerful results.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below.
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