Business is quickly becoming a team sport. Productivity does not come from individuals sitting in cubicles all day. Instead, high-performing teams work cooperatively to achieve their goals.
Some of the attributes of a high-performing team include clear communication, a goal-oriented focus, and trust. If you are lucky, this type of team might fall into your lap. In most cases, it takes time and effort to cultivate a high-performing team culture.
As a business leader, you want to be proactive about developing your teams. Taking time to perform some simple exercises can go a long way in creating high-performing teams at your organization.
1. Creating High-Performing Teams through Storytelling
Human brains are wired to be social. We make connections through eye contact, mirrored gestures, and active listening. Storytelling exercises are a powerful way to develop trust. Just telling the basic outline of your life story requires a bit of vulnerability and openness.
A storytelling session in a business setting should not feel like group therapy. It should be a relaxed way to make connections. Initial sessions might focus on the story of how each employee came to your company. This exercise will give everyone a sense of the skills their teammates have to offer.
Storytelling exercises can be fun as well. Classic games like Two Truths and a Lie are an excellent way to break the ice. In this game, the speaker tells two facts and one false statement about their background. Participants then try to guess the lie.
2. An Exercise in Communication and Cooperation
The ability to work together is essential for a high-performing team. Cooperation requires clear communication. Exercises that promote this virtue can be both practical and light-hearted.
On the practical side, you can have a session where you go around the group and invite members to share their communication preferences. What forms of passing information get them to pay attention, and what styles will make them shut down?
In a larger group, having the team members arrange themselves into shapes without speaking is a playful exercise. Forming a square or triangle requires some coordination. As a group leader, this kind of exercise lets you see the unspoken dynamics of leadership within the team.
3. Working Together to Set Goals
High-performing teams stand apart because of their ability to work towards a common goal. Goal-setting should be a regular exercise for the group. At the beginning of a new project, having team members share their vision offers a starting point for a collective goal.
As the entrepreneur, you might take it upon yourself to rank goals based on your vision. You will include most goals, but some will have greater priority. In a consensus-driven culture, you keep the discussion moving until you have established a single mission. From there, you will want the group to talk about steps that lead to the final goal and ways to measure performance.
A Passion for High-Performing Groups
The Productivity Intelligence Institute has a passion for helping entrepreneurs develop high-performing groups. If you are looking for resources and advice, contact us today.