Cheryl Mann, President of Goals InSight gave a presentation on three critical tools for building a successful team at Bio2DeviceGroup meeting on Tuesday, March 22 (www.bio2devicegroup.org). When she inquired about what might be some of the challenges that come in the way of building a high performing team, she got an earful from the audience members. Some of the challenges they attested to include, uneven distribution of work flow, inability to maintain focus and keep an eye on the end goal, difficulty balancing priorities, challenge in overcoming status differentiation, difficulty in holding team accountable regarding deliverables, and leaking of proprietary information. This is very concrete impact in teams that are not cohesive. Mann stressed that team productivity can only be enhanced by optimizing positivity among team members. Healthy relationships that include higher respect, camaraderie, communication, constructive interaction, value for diversity, and optimism directly impacts those factors critical for getting results, improving decision making, alignment of resources, accountability etc. Understanding this is foundational to building high performing team.
The second critical tool focuses on creating foundational team agreements to clarify expectations and accountabilities. With the help of case studies, Mann demonstrated before and after scenarios where before clarity regarding expectations, teams were in firefighting mode, often engaged in lengthy, unproductive meetings or email exchanges, and often sidestepped clear communication from fear of causing conflicts. After clarity around agreements and expectations, teams were able to focus on few vital priorities, engaged in healthier interactions with quicker decisions, and had more positive meetings. The third tool focused on creating a culture of shared leadership in order to bring about sustained change for continued high performance. Her presentation was followed by Q&A.