Developing Highly Productive and Highly Positive Teams

In all walks of life teams exist to get results.  Getting results depends on teams being both productive and positive.  Teams can be highly productive running at 100 miles an hour but have low levels of morale.  On the flip side they might be highly optimistic but never get anything done.  So what are essential ingredients of highly productive and highly positive teams?

Set clear goals

If teams are to be productive, they need to know where they are heading and what they are going to deliver.  In other word they need to have absolute clarity on their goals.

Common mission

Teams need to be aiming in the same direction, working together towards a common vision or mission.  Without this they are merely a collection of individuals who will pursue what is right for them personally.

Create accountability

When a team needs to account for what it has achieved and what it has not, there is a greater likelihood of achievement rather than below optimal performance.  Accountability is not something that is viewed as negative but a means of staying on track.

Secure resources

Resources (manpower, money and materials) are another ingredient in productive teams.  The resources (whatever they are) once secured need to be used effectively.

Make effective decisions

Highly productive teams take decisions, avoid procrastinating and get things done.  Effective decision making does not happen by chance.  A decision making process is essential.

Encourage proactiviness

Being proactive is about looking out for opportunities to change, develop and improve and then acting swiftly to exploit those opportunities.  Being proactive is about anticipating and thinking outside of the boundaries.

Effective leadership

Effective leadership is core to any team that gets results whether it is in business, communities or sports. 

Be optimistic

People can generally fall into the glass half full or glass half empty category.  The glass half full are the optimists, the glass half empty are the pessimists.  Which group do you think achieves more?

Build trust

Trust is about creating an environment where people can speak openly and objectively without fear.  Trust comes from knowing that others can be counted on, even when the going gets tough.

Respect each other

Respecting each other is not about agreeing with everyone or liking every one.  It is about being willing to listen, understand different points of view and respecting those differing views.

Effective communication

The best teams communicate clearly, avoid ambiguity and see listening as just as important as speaking.

Welcome conflict

No matter how well a team works together, conflict will arise from time to time.  It is how it is dealt with that really matters.  Utilised effectively it can unleash creativity, open new possibilities and contribute to development and growth.

Create sense of belonging

Camaraderie is extremely powerful, especially when the going gets tough.  The best teams work on creating and maintaining that camaraderie.

Value diversity

We are all different.  We all have different personalities, backgrounds, experiences, ways of looking at things and approaching things.  Valuing that diversity gives teams much greater range and helps that to get better results.

At the end of the day teams exist to get results.  So what will you do to develop your team and get even better results in 2009?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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