Fostering Team Synergy, Overcoming Dysfunctions, and Building Strong Teams

In the realm of effective teamwork, there are vital elements that drive high performance, including the power of team synergy, addressing the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and the transformational impact of the "Market of Skills" exercise.
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Team Synergy: The Foundation of Success

Synergy is the magic that turns a group of individuals into a high-performing team. It springs from the shared goal or purpose that binds team members together. Just like a Formula 1 team aims to win the world championship, trust, role clarity, and accountability are essential for achieving that shared goal. In essence, synergy means the collective whole is greater than the sum of individual parts.

Addressing Dysfunctions: The Road to High Performance

Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team offers a model for understanding team challenges head-on. It ranks five behavioural characteristics of a team, guiding leaders and coaches on where to focus their efforts when dealing with team dysfunctions. These dysfunctions, in ascending order of severity, include:

      1. Absence of Trust: The foundation of teamwork, trust is the most severe dysfunction. Without trust, other dysfunctions become harder to resolve. Building trust involves living up to each other’s expectations and can be reinforced through working agreements and team charters.

      1. Fear of Conflict: The second dysfunction is fear of open dialogue and conflicts. Team members must embrace disagreements as opportunities for growth and innovation. Facilitating constructive conversations is crucial to avoid artificial harmony and maintain team energy.

      1. Lack of Commitment: The third dysfunction arises when team members avoid committing fully to a shared goal. A clear, shared goal is the bedrock of becoming a team. Encouraging influence and active participation, such as implementing Agile practices, is vital to enhance commitment.

      1. Avoidance of Accountability: Team members must hold each other accountable for promises made. This depends on trust, open dialogue, and a prior commitment to accountability. Focusing on targets rather than individuals is key to effective accountability.

      1. Inattention to Results: The final dysfunction occurs when team members lose sight of what they are doing and why. Connecting with the team’s purpose and understanding the value they provide to customers and the organisation is vital.

    To deal with team challenges it is important that you address the most sever dysfunction first because dealing with less sever dysfunctions will only be like scratching the surface of the real problem.

    When it comes to deal with trust issues, the Market of Skills have shown to be a great catalyst.

    From Trust to Triumph through the Market of Skills

    The “Market of Skills” exercise is a transformational tool developed by Peter Lang, a psychoanalyst specialising in systemic organisational theory. It’s a two-round exercise designed to establish trust, foster open dialogue, and enhance the team’s sense of identity. This activity is especially valuable for newly formed teams, but its impact extends beyond this phase.

    Round 1: Each team member takes on the role of a market vendor, creating a poster that showcases their relevant competences, skills, and interests. The poster should address what they bring to the team’s goals and purpose, as well as their “under-the-counter” skills that may not be directly related but are noteworthy. They also indicate competences they desire to learn from others.

    Round 2: During the presentation, team members offer feedback in the form of sticky notes, showing appreciation for skills, spotting additional abilities, and offering help for personal growth. The structured feedback creates a deep bond among team members and strengthens trust and open dialogue.

    I have been using the “Market of Skills” exercise since 2008, and I consistently experience remarkable results while facilitating teams.

    Unlock the Potential of Your Team

    For those eager to implement the “Market of Skills” exercise with their teams, I offer a facilitation guide. To access this valuable resource and embark on your team-building journey, simply fill out the form embedded within this blog post.

    The Result: A Strong, Cohesive Team

    The “Market of Skills” exercise fosters a profound sense of team identity and mutual appreciation. It extends trust and enhances open dialogue and empowers team members to hold each other accountable. This structured process is the bedrock upon which trust, open dialogue, commitment, and accountability are built, culminating in high-performing teams.

    The “Market of Skills” exercise is not just about showcasing skills; it’s about transforming a group of individuals into a strong, cohesive team, ready to take on their shared goals with passion and commitment.

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