While teaming and collaboration are ubiquitous in our organisations, high functioning teams are not. And while most of us and our team members have learned to play nicely in the sandbox, larger goals and incentives still can create a competitiveness that prevents the team from fully functioning at an optimum level.
Left unchecked, this behaviour can quickly become toxic and leads to division and dysfunction within teams. The value that a team can contribute in this climate is severely diminished.
To create a healthy level of interdependence with your team:
1. Start by setting out your expectations of how the team operates and how members interact with each other.
Your job here is to focus on the collective outcome, as a team requires the connection and participation with each other, inside and outside of formal team meetings. At a minimum, if someone is a member of the team, we support them and work to ensure their success, as well as the other members of the team.
2. Leaders need to actively create interdependence.
When one team member needs help or advice on a project, connect them to another team member who has experience in the space. Instead of you being the hub of all knowledge and skill, celebrate the unique gifts and abilities that each team member has, to create positive experience and appreciation.
These actions will Connect the Dots for your team, so they operate as a high functioning team of interconnected members, with a common set of expectations and goals.