A team becomes a team when it delivers a collective output. This takes a shared, clear and compelling purpose. It takes a stable set of around 5 to 7 members. It takes clear roles and a blend of both technical skills and complementary personality styles. It also takes members who are both willing and able to collaborate. Working interdependently and collectively has the potential to scale and amplify what is possible when working solo. Yet there is also the potential for misalignment and friction. Robust relationships across the team are a powerful antidote.
Team coaching pioneer Georgina Woudstra speaks of ‘connection before contracting.’ Building a human connection – getting to know one another both personally and professionally – may not seem like a priority upfront with teams who want to ‘get to work.’ Yet it is an essential investment into the team’s future effectiveness. Building deep and robust relationships across the team shifts its focus beyond simply the task at hand. This builds a more personal and emotional sense of connection, a deeper sense of belonging and a stronger level of engagement within the team. Trust is built. Communication becomes more honest and direct. Conflict is surfaced and solved constructively. Problems are explored and solved more creatively. Outputs are delivered better and faster. Innovation flows.
The Work- From- Home and hybrid context make building and re-building relationships both more important and more challenging. Start with check-ins to team sessions that invite a glimpse of the personal, encourage team members to share about their lives outside of work, explore personality and style preferences, schedule gatherings where the team meets and does not talk work, celebrate birthdays, and regularly have fun together. Those funny hat Zoom calls, the team’s shared playlist with favourite songs added every Friday and team lunches build connection and forge relationships. The team that knows one another is the team that grows one another.
Teamery partners with teams across the UK, Europe, and Africa. Building and re-building relationships is often a key objective. Call us to do a Team Relationship Pulse Check and to collaborate with you to build better relationships in your team.