Recognize and Bring Out the Essential Elements of Extraordinary Groups & Teams
“Life is too short to spend time in groups that do not fulfill their promise!” – Geoff Bellman & Kathleen Ryan
In our workplaces and communities, work gets done by teams. Faced with the challenges of constant change, uncertainty and increasing complexity, progress requires teams of people with diverse skills and perspectives – groups that are focused, motivated, collaborative, and willing to take risks. Whether solving problems, taking advantage of opportunities, or pushing into unknown territory, highly effective teams are critical for organizational and societal success.
Extraordinary teams achieve outstanding tangible results and they also do something ordinary teams cannot – they cultivate an exciting, collaborative environment built upon mutual trust and respect.
Extraordinary teams are much more than high performing teams. Great results must be coupled with personal transformation for any team to be exceptional. When the “WOW” factor of personal transformation shows up, a team experience is taken to an entirely new level and members feel…
- More hopeful
- More energized
- More connected
- Changed for the better
When asked what they hope for from any new group experience, people consistently express a desire to be on teams where high-quality, high-impact work gets done while engaged team members bring their best knowledge, skill, energy, and heart to the work. Think about your own experience. How would you feel about being on a team where members:
- Feel inspired to fulfill the team’s purpose and realize its goals?
- Do the hard work needed to understand and engage one another’s different perspectives and strategies?
- Come to meetings on time, having done the homework and set aside other distractions?
- Enjoy each other’s company and learn from each person’s contributions?
- Work through the important issues – even risky ones – that block high performance or innovation?
- Step in, show up, and bring their best capability to the team’s work?
This kind of peak group or team experience is entirely possible when members focus on ten evidence-based practices and honor six group-related aspirations.
Research by the Extraordinary Teams Partnership has shown that ten critical practices show up time after time in amazing teams. These essential behavioral patterns inspire specific strategies you can intentionally focus on to elevate your team experience.
Additionally, it’s important to understand that satisfaction of six group-related aspirations contributes to peak performance. As individuals, we come to groups with a set of mostly unarticulated needs that we long to meet through a group experience. When multiple needs are met within a group experience the effect is synergistic and transformative.
Are there things that you can intentionally do to create an amazing team? The answer is a resounding Yes!
“Any person, regardless of position or role, can positively impact the ability of their group or team to be extraordinary.” – Kathleen Ryan
- Cultural Characteristics of Extraordinary Teams
- Psychological safety
- Social sensitivity
- Equal air time
- The Extraordinary Teams Framework
- The definition of an Extraordinary Team
- Ten Practices of an Extraordinary Team
- Six Aspirations individuals bring to any team
- Watch Margaret Heffernan’s TEDWomen Video, “Forget the Pecking Order at Work
- Read What Google Learned About Building the Perfect Team summary of New York Times article by Charles Duhigg
- Read High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It by Laura Delizonna
- Read Essential Practices of Extraordinary Teams
- Read Six Aspirations Individuals Bring to Any Team
- Read How to Take the Stress Out of Leadership from the Center for Creative Leadership
- Facilitate a Team Conversation
Use any resource/reference from this module to convene a conversation with your practice team. Be prepared to share a summary of what you tried, what worked, what didn’t work, and what you learned from your experience.
- 7 Ways to Promote Psychological Safety in Your Organization by Gustavo Razzetti
- 8 Ground Rules for Great Meetings by Roger Schwarz
- Creating an Extraordinary Group by Geoff Bellman and Kathleen Ryan
- Don’t Just Talk about Psychological Safety, Measure It by Megan Trotter
- Eight Behaviors for Smarter Teams by Roger Schwarz
- Extraordinary E-Groups: An Overview by Geoff Bellman and Kathleen Ryan
- Guide to Understanding Team Effectiveness by re:Work
- Psychological Safety/Improvisation/Teaming Interview video with Amy Edmondson