What do Elite Teams Do Differently?
Elite teams put their “first” team first and work together to achieve the team goals. Members organize the resources of the teams they manage to align with the strategy of the leadership team. Everyone has each other’s back and looks for ways to support each other’s success. They engage in healthy conflict about important issues and then support the final decision. Here are some of the characteristics and behaviors of elite teams:
- An elite team puts highest priority on the work of that team. This means that team members do not prioritize their functional team's action items as more important than the leadership team's action items.
- Team members can articulate the unifying goal to which they are all committed. They don’t parrot the same words, but when you hear them speak about the team purpose in their own words, you see how their perspectives are aligned. In addition to alignment around a common purpose, the team is aligned around how to accomplish the purpose.
- Individual members don't always have to have decisions go their way – they listen, consider, and openly debate the way forward — then when the decision is made, they wholeheartedly support it and actively work to make it successful.
- Team members support each other, look out for each other, and give each other frank and honest feedback with the intuition to help each other become even more effective.
- They talk frequently and look forward to spending time together because they value each other’s perspectives and contributions.
The DecisionWise Team Building Program
Team building does not happen overnight. People need time to learn about themselves and their teammates so that they can establish relationships of trust and support each other’s performance. The DecisionWise Team Building process creates self-awareness and provides a safe yet challenging environment for team members to test new ideas and diffuse misconceptions. They begin to understand what it means to truly function as a team and become motivated by the new-found freedom and challenges it provides.
DecisionWise works with executive and senior leadership teams around the world to overcome the five obstacles of effective teams to increase trust, team unity, and performance. We use a variety of assessments, individual coaching, and team workshops to transform the dynamics on the team, create a healthy and safe environment, and develop real accountability with one another.
The process includes two phases. During Phase 1, each team increases self-awareness through a 360-degree feedback process conducted by an executive coach/team facilitator. During Phase 2, the coach conducts three two-day team workshops to explore team survey results, create new working ground rules, and facilitate the creation of team goals.
Phase 1: Increase Self-Awareness
360-Degree Feedback Survey: Each team member and the team leader participate in a 360-degree feedback assessment and coaching session with a DecisionWise executive coach. The results are used to help the participant understand the perceptions of trust and respect from his or her peers on the team.
Individual Coaching Session: A DecisionWise executive coach conducts a 90-minute telephone coaching session with each team member to debrief the 360 survey results and talk about their perceptions of the team’s effectiveness. The coach will help each individual to develop self-awareness and individual responsibility. Each person will also create a personal development plan to address items from the survey results.
Group Profile and Debrief Call with Team Leader: DecisionWise will create a group report using all of the 360 survey results that shows overall averages and rank orders the results for each team member. The report will be presented by the coach over the phone to the team leader. The coach will also share findings from the individual coaching sessions and provide recommendations.
Phase 2: Team Workshops
A senior DecisionWise consultant/coach will conduct three team building workshops. Each session will last two-days with follow-up sessions at 60 and 90-days after the first. Additional assessments will be conducted with each team member as well as interviews by the coach to better understand individual preferences and team dynamics.
Workshop Preparation and Customization: Before each workshop, the consultant will prepare activities and materials specific to the needs of the team. Dynamic content and activities for the follow-up meetings will be tailored to the needs and opportunities discovered in the previous meeting.
Interviews: Before each of the three onsite workshops, the coach will conduct 15-20-minute individual interviews with each of the team members. These interviews are designed to better understand the perspectives of each team member and identify issues that need to be addressed during the team meetings. Information from these interviews will be kept confidential and will not be attributed to any individual.
Assessments: The DecisionWise Team MAGIC Assessment™, a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and a Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument will be administered to each person in order to better understand team dynamics and individual preferences. The results from all assessments will be used by the consultant to create a Team Profile summary report that includes observations and recommendations about the team.
DecisionWise Team MAGIC Assessment™: This assessment is designed to evaluate the five keys of team engagement. It is used with teams that have been together for three months or more. The report averages all scores together and provides an in-depth description of the results. It measures the following:
- Meaning: How well is the team aligned with the overall goals of the company? Do team members feel that their work has purpose beyond the work itself?
- Autonomy: This item evaluates the team’s level of empowerment and trust. Do team members feel like they have the autonomy to do their best work?
- Growth: This area evaluates elements of the team’s leadership, talent, and capacity to learn.
- Impact: This section evaluates the effectiveness of the team at achieving results. Do team members feel like their accomplishments make a difference?
- Connection: How well do team members support each other and collaborate. Do team members care about each other?
Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI): The TKI is designed to assess an individual’s behavior in conflict situations and interactions and provides a framework for seeing one’s own preferences and those of others.
Workshop Facilitation: During three separate two-day workshops, the coach will debrief the results from the Team MAGIC Assessment, MBTI, TKI assessments. The team will discuss the components of an effective team and create a team action plan for improvement. The coach will guide a discussion on team obstacles and how to work more effectively together. The outcome of the first session will produce a team action plan. This action plan will be reviewed and used during the two follow-up sessions at 60 and 90-days.