How to Build a Better Team

What makes a team?

I have been asking myself and the teams that I work with this question for about twenty years. The answer seems to lie somewhere in the transition from ‘I’’ to ‘We’ ie: from an individual orientation to a more collective one.

An experience this week with a team shed new light for me on this familiar problem. We were at a beautiful rainforest retreat in Queensland and one of the team shared her experience of the team’s lack of collective orientation – she felt alone and unsupported. The reaction of the team indicated that many others felt the same way.

I encouraged her to share with the team her individual challenges – both personal and professional – and make clear requests of them regarding how to offer better support. This led to others on the team doing the same. They were speaking the unsaid.

The result was a rapid, powerful sense of collective ownership and camaraderie.

There are many ways to support a team’s transition from ‘I’ to ‘We’; establishing a compelling collective direction, experiencing shared adversity, and simply investing in quality time together. I wanted to share this particular approach as I thought it interesting.

Have you ever felt alone in a team?

ATTENTION UK FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES. I will be returning to the UK for a few weeks in early October – please message me if you would like to connect.

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