I have previously written about the first two steps for developing a high performing team:
- Building trust
- Overcoming the fear of conflict
Once a team has worked on trust and making constructive use of conflict, it’s time to get started on the third phase, which is commitment.
Real commitment means that there is both buy-in and clarity.
Unless teams have reached the point where they can air issues and participate fully in candid, constructive debate commitment is going to be very hard to achieve. Can you see how gaining buy-in follows on from overcoming the fear of conflict?
Surprisingly, buy-in may not always mean that consensus has been achieved but it does mean that team members will have learned to disagree with one another yet fully support decisions without undermining them. In undermining decisions trust gets broken (Step 1) and the team cannot function effectively.
Clarity means that issues have really been worked through and that assumptions have been properly teased out so that ambiguity is minimised and the team as a whole has a clear understanding of what is to be done.
Teams lacking in commitment may say all of the right things at meetings but they don’t tend to follow through.
The final two steps for a high performing team are individual accountability and a focus on results – both of which I will be writing about soon.