Leading highly effective and cohesive teams

We have all been a part of great teams that outperform other teams in the organisation. This team usually has fantastic chemistry, synergy, high energy and high productivity levels.  If we were to ask people to list down the key ingredients of effective teams they have been a part of, it would read somewhat like this.

Highly effective and cohesive teams

  • They have a collaborative culture where individual team members share their knowledge and resources to make their colleagues successful.
  • They have a shared vision and shared goals, and everyone is willing to assume responsibility when needed.
  • It’s a team where innovation thrives with a high degree of experimentation and no fear of failure.
  • These are the teams with diversity of thought, culture, and values, but eventually, cumulate into a unity of action. It thrives on bringing in thinking from the best of all worlds to a solution.
  • Teams where individuals feel that their leader has their back when things don’t work out and showers credit when things work out.
  • Teams where no single person is more significant than the team.
  • Teams thrive on honesty, integrity, a sense of mutual respect and trust, and there is always an avenue of managing conflict.

The importance of leadership

The team leader plays an essential role in creating the right environment and circumstances for effective teams to thrive.

A leader needs to communicate a clear and actionable vision and goals for the team. Define roles and responsibilities so that people collaborate instead of running into each other. At the same time, it leaves enough flexibility for team members to expand their roles and responsibility areas. The leader needs to protect and shield their flock when they fail and shower them with all the credit when things work out.

Maturity of effective teams

But there is one crucial component that only mature teams have: the ability for everyone to be accountable to each other. During this stage of maturity, team members are challenging and encouraging their colleagues to even higher levels of performance. This is true when the team’s performance goes up significantly and many notches above the other groups. It’s hard to get to a state with such high levels of trust among the team members where any feedback or input is taken to better their effectiveness rather than take it as a threat or a personal attack. Again, the leader plays a significant role in getting the team at this mature level. The leader needs to set the example by being open to being accountable to the team before asking the team itself. The leader needs to build robust mechanisms of conflict management that create a safety net where team members feel that they can truly express themselves and give feedback across the team.  A team where there is accountability to each other across, above and below, is the Gold standard to building a world-class organisation that delivers the best overall results.