How can your team go from good to great?
At a recent CRF event Professor Steve Peters spoke about how psychology can improve organisation, team and individual performance. Professor Peters has extensive experience of working with elite performers and teams, with clients including: Liverpool and England football teams, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton.
During the event, he discussed the use of emotional skills to optimise performance. More precisely, he emphasised how the ability of individuals to manage emotions (both their own and those of the other team members) is the key driving force behind teams who transition from good to great.
At Lane4, we have a similar approach to what makes a truly high performing team based on our research into the fields of aviation, business, sport, medicine and the military. Specifically, our approach focuses on factors that have been shown to distinguish between functioning teams and high performing teams, essentially transforming your teams performance from good to great. We’ve identified the key components for a high performing team which includes; team mind, team process, team psychological edge, team leadership and, importantly, team emotion.
As a leader of a team, having an awareness of your team member’s emotions and knowing how to manage those emotions enables you to really get the best out of them. For example, how team members feel about each other, and their team as a whole, determines how they will behave and the effectiveness of the team's performance. Other aspects of team emotion that contribute towards turning what is just a good team into a great one are:
• Mutual trust – this is a necessary foundation among team members for an efficient team processes. It’s also a prerequisite for important team behaviours such as sharing information, accepting feedback and taking responsibility for one’s performance.
• Engagement – teams with a high level of engagement have a strong belief in the importance of teamwork and are committed to a shared vision for the team. Such team members balance the team’s goals with their own individual goals, and are interested in the opinions of all team members.
• Conflict – a team’s ability to have difficult conversations and bring conflict to a productive or constructive resolution can facilitate positive outcomes such as increased innovation and creativity.
• Decision-making – high performing teams are able to make effective decisions rapidly, under pressure and with ambiguous or limited information.
The secret to outstanding success lies in this subtle understanding of team dynamics, as how team members feel, respond and interact critically impacts on how they perform as a whole. Addressing the points above will enable you to get the best out of your team. As Professor Steve Peters discussed, emotional skills are crucial in developing teams; we agree that this is very important in turning a good team into a truly high performing team.