3 easy ways to boost your team's performance
No matter your role or your industry, the chances are you work in teams. Even those individuals that we hold up as mavericks and independent trailblazers have support network around them, people that they work with, people that challenge their ideas, people that act as sounding boards, and people that offer advice. The success of humanity is largely a result of being able to work together and achieve far more than we ever would as individuals.
Teamwork offers the potential for great synergies and improved results, but it’s not an automatic process. The best performing individuals and teams focus on how they interact and work with each other. Each person has different strengths: some are more detail-focussed and are good at planning; others are dreamers, capable of seeing the big picture and creating inspiring visions; some are good with numbers, relishing the opportunity to analyse a business’s health and see areas for performance improvement; and then others are the people people, those that know how to manage relationships, coach and mentor, and improve performance through the power of human capital. Each type of person brings a different strength to the table; each is valuable, and no one person is going to achieve the best results by doing it all.
So, with that in mind, here are three things you can do now to ensure that you boost your productivity and performance.
Never Eat Alone
Relationships need attention. Often we forget to cultivate them and just expect them to be there when needed. In our busy lives, it can be tempting to eat at our desks, but that’s really a short-term strategy; your brain, your relationships, and overall your productivity will increase if you take a proper lunch break. Organise to eat with someone you haven’t seen for a while. Ask them how they are. Find out what they are working on. Take an interest in them and look out for opportunities where you can help them (or just actively listen to what they have to say. People like being paid attention to, and they will remember when they have an opportunity to help you out. Want 10 great tips on having really great conversations and building relationships, check out this 12 minute Ted talk
Explore Your Teams Strengths
We all know that we should do this, but so often we forget to do it. Teams change, people come and go moving to different projects or different organisations. The people you are working with now, are unlikely to be the people you were working with 18 months ago. So make sure you keep your knowledge on comparative strengths up-to-date. What sort of work do the people around you enjoy doing? Where do their strengths and expertise lie? What styles of thinking do they use? And, most importantly, how can you all work together to achieve better outcomes?
For a quick insight into thinking, check out this cool summary of Harvard Professor, Howard Gardner’s book, 5 Minds for the Future.
Okay. So this one may sound a little bizarre, but it is really important to do. Every person interprets the world a different way. Our senses are bombarded with information every second of every day. To keep ourselves sane, our brains filter and distort information so that it’s easier to process. The problem (or benefit!) with that is that no two people will process the information the same way, and we all have our own personalised versions of reality. This is the source of much conflict, but it is also the source of great synergy. Different people notice different things; this is the benefit of diversity. When you draw on the perspectives of multiple people, you will get a fuller picture and can develop better solutions that what you could do on your own. So, ask yourself how actively you are sourcing those different opinions, particularly the ones that are significantly different to yours. Check out a related Actionable Summary here
So if you want to see a boost to you and your team’s performance, go ahead now and see how you can draw on the strengths and power of your peer network.
Remember as Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
One more thing before I go. I'll be sending out details soon for an upcoming event on the 23rd of August. If you're up for some wine, networking and a panel of expert speakers, save the date now and stay tuned for more information.