Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

7 Secrets of a winning team

7 Secrets of a winning team

We have all witnessed the effectiveness of a high-performing team. Nevertheless, the fundamental seven secrets behind a victorious team remain largely unknown to us. Don’t you aspire for enhanced productivity, superior customer service, adaptable systems, and employee empowerment? Undoubtedly, you cannot achieve this alone; a team is indispensable to accomplish this mission.

Secret: 01

Big-Picture Focus

We have observed the secrets of a successful team, where members are wholeheartedly devoted to their purpose and their work aligns seamlessly with the objectives of the organization. They acknowledge that their team’s goals are attainable and in harmony with the company’s mission and values. This level of dedication forms the bedrock for creating synergy among team members.

The team members are prepared to set aside their personal needs for the greater advantage of both the work team and the company. Each and every team member not only comprehends the broader perspective, but the team’s collective focus on the big picture establishes a reference point against which all team decisions can be evaluated.

While winning teams are not immune to conflicts, it is crucial to note that when such conflicts arise, the team utilizes alignment with the big picture as the primary criterion to evaluate acceptable solutions and assess work performance. Members of the team must be willing to offer sincere feedback, embrace constructive criticism, and confront issues directly. Achieving this necessitates a strong foundation of trust fostered through direct and honest interactions.

“There’s only one standard. Once you’re stuck on the flypaper, you’re stuck. If you don’t set a high standard, you can’t expect your people to act right.”                                                                                       -Donald Kendall, Chairman, Pepsi-Co

Secret: 02

Caring Communication

Among the seven secrets of a winning team, caring communication stands as one of the most crucial factors. Such teams consistently endeavor to reach their maximum potential. The team members feel at ease expressing their thoughts, seeking assistance, sharing novel or unpopular ideas, and embracing the possibility of making mistakes. These teams foster an atmosphere characterized by mutual concern, trust, and a focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems. It has been observed that these teams establish an environment where communication is characterized by friendliness, openness, and positivity.

Open and honest communication is more likely to thrive within a team when individuals possess knowledge of and respect for one another. Team members demonstrate care by inquiring about each other’s lives beyond work, honoring individual differences, engaging in light-hearted banter, and fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcomed. Additionally, open communication holds equal significance in driving a team’s collaborative and achievement-oriented endeavors.

Positive communication among team members significantly influences the energy within the work team. When individuals engage in discussions about their preferences, needs, or desires, it generates a distinct contrast to simply complaining about what annoys or frustrates them. The former serves to invigorate and uplift, while the latter diminishes morale.

Secret: 03

Sense of Connection

A successful team consistently discovers innovative approaches to establish meaningful connections among its members. When a team maintains strong ties to the organization, its members engage in discussions about team performance in relation to corporate priorities, customer feedback, and quality metrics. They carefully weigh the team’s needs against what is beneficial for the entire organization and what will best serve the shared objectives. We recommend that companies foster such connections by promoting open communication channels. Management priorities, strategies, and challenges should flow in one direction, while team needs, accomplishments, and inquiries should flow in the other direction.

When a team cultivates robust connections among its members, the manifestation of peer support takes on various forms. Colleagues willingly extend a helping hand without being prompted, provide backup assistance in challenging situations, publicly acknowledge each other’s accomplishments, share resources, offer constructive suggestions for improvement, and find ways to celebrate collective achievements together.

To foster the development and sustenance of such connections, we advise companies to allocate time before and after meetings for brief social interactions, arrange team lunches as part of the schedule, organize occasional team projects outside of work, share member profiles, participate in training sessions together, and encourage mutual feedback on personal growth and development.

Throughout the past several years, we have noticed that teams that establish strong connections with other work groups regard them as “internal customers.” These teams not only extend the same level of respect to requests from these colleagues as they would to external customers, but they also actively seek feedback on how they can enhance their service. They engage in win-win negotiations to address any differences that may arise and willingly share resources to foster collaboration and synergy.

By prioritizing the development of strong connections among team members, not only does productivity increase, but risk is also reduced. The National Transportation Safety Board conducted a study revealing that a significant 73 percent of incidents occurred on the first day when a team collaborated, with an additional 44 percent occurring on the first flight. In stark contrast, flight teams that remained together for extended periods of time outperformed all others.

To forge strong connections, successful teams may consider several strategies: arranging monthly cross-departmental meetings, extending invitations to representatives from other teams to join their own meetings, and collaborating on corporate or community projects by pooling their collective efforts. These approaches facilitate meaningful interactions and foster a sense of unity among teams..

Secret: 04

Oneness in Roughness

In today’s business landscape, the need for individual champions has diminished. Instead, winning teams consist of members who actively contribute to the success of others within the team. The success of the team hinges on the level of interdependence recognized among its members. In such winning teams, individuals can rely on one another. There is a mutual trust that when a colleague commits to returning a phone call, reviewing a report, engaging with a customer, attending a meeting, or making a behavioral change, they will follow through and get the job done. Team members are acutely aware that, as part of a team, their actions—or lack thereof—affect someone else and ultimately impact the entire team.

In addition to relying on one another, members of winning teams prioritize doing things correctly from the outset. Accuracy is not only seen as a matter of personal pride but also as a testament to the team’s commitment to upholding high standards. By emphasizing accuracy, team members cultivate a sense of collective pride in their accomplishments.

Team support fosters the emergence of new ideas and cultivates a culture of innovation. Individuals within the team feel a sense of support from their colleagues. Typically, people may hesitate to take the lead in new initiatives within a team setting. However, this is not the case in a winning team, as the presence of a supportive environment greatly reduces the perceived risks. In such an environment, team members respect individual differences, exhibit forgiveness towards mistakes, and shift their perspectives from a singular point of view to a collective viewing point.

Transforming team priorities into personal priorities is a defining characteristic of a winning team. This is exemplified by respecting the time of others, such as arriving punctually for meetings, promptly sharing relevant information, consolidating questions for efficiency, communicating concisely, and considering whether it is a suitable moment before initiating interactions. These practices encapsulate the seven secrets of a winning team.

Within a winning team, individuals grasp the concept that they cannot always have things done their way and, in order to contribute value, they must cultivate a spirit of generosity. Being a part of a work team resembles being a member of a family to some extent. Winning teams hold a deep appreciation for each individual, foster team trust, engage in open communication, effectively handle differences, celebrate shared successes, and warmly welcome new members.

Secret: 05

Thrive on Disagreements

The issue lies not in the existence of differences, but rather in how they are effectively addressed. It is only natural for teams composed of bright and diverse individuals to encounter conflicts occasionally. If individuals believe that conflict never arises in “good” teams, they may choose to ignore or suppress it. However, it is important to recognize that no amount of denial can indefinitely conceal misconceptions, negative emotions, underlying grievances, and misunderstandings. Eventually, these differences resurface, manifesting as tension, hidden agendas, and entrenched positions.

When teams adeptly handle conflict, team members gain a sense of empowerment that enables them to uphold trust and harness the collective potential of the team. Whether in a business or sports context, teams excel at conflict management when members possess a positive attitude towards conflict in general, the parties involved, and their own capacity to effectively navigate and resolve conflicts.

Dr. Suzanne Willis Zoglio, Ph.D., introduces three techniques that can assist team members in altering limiting perspectives. These techniques include re-framing, shifting shoes, and affirmations. These methods form part of the seven secrets of a winning team.

Re-framing involves perceiving the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. Rather than thinking, “Addressing this issue will slow down the meeting,” one can adopt the perspective that “Negotiating this difference will enhance trust and creativity.” It is a powerful shift in mindset that can contribute to the success of a meeting and the overall dynamics of the team.

‘walking in the shoes’ of another person. You answer questions such as:

“How would I feel if I were that person being criticized in front of the group?”                                                                                            “What would motivate me to say what that person just said?”

Affirmations are constructive statements regarding something one desires to be true. For instance, instead of having negative thoughts like “I know I’m going to blow up” before a negotiation session, one can deliberately replace them with positive affirmations such as “I am calm, composed, and well-prepared.” By encouraging team members to shift their negative mental narratives to more positive ones, they can effectively overcome obstructing paradigms and enhance their conflict management skills.

Secret: 06

No Fear of Change

Winning teams not only react to change but take the initiative to instigate it. In today’s fast-paced and unpredictable environment, it is no longer a luxury to have teams that can operate effectively amidst turbulence; it has become a necessity. High-performing teams acknowledge the potential risks associated with change and actively assist members in recognizing the opportunities that lie within it. By embracing change, these teams leverage it as a catalyst for growth and success.

A winning team does not seek security in comfort; instead, it wholeheartedly embraces unforeseen challenges and changes with an open mind. Such a team is adept at taking risks and navigating through ambiguity. They possess the essential skills and resources to foster innovation. Leaders within winning teams play a pivotal role in mitigating resistance to change by offering a clear vision, providing pertinent information, and exemplifying a positive attitude themselves. These principles form part of the seven secrets of a winning team.

Secret: 07

Everybody Contributes

 A winning team comprises members who are proficient and proactive in taking initiatives. These individuals possess a combination of robust technical and interpersonal skills and demonstrate a genuine willingness to continually learn and grow.

To promote balanced participation within a team, three factors are essential in enhancing the level of individual contribution: inclusion, belongingness, and engagement. The more team members feel included, the more they are likely to actively contribute, and the more they contribute, the stronger their sense of belonging to the team becomes. In order to foster feelings of inclusion, it is crucial to keep team members well-informed, solicit their input, and cultivate an atmosphere of cohesion and collaboration.

The level of confidence within a team directly impacts the level of energy and effort invested by its members. When there is a perception that hard work will lead to success, employees are more motivated to contribute wholeheartedly. Conversely, when success seems unlikely, motivation and energy levels diminish. To bolster the confidence of team members, it is crucial to provide them with feedback, coaching, and opportunities for professional development. Additionally, it is important to foster an environment where team members evaluate and reflect on their own contributions as well as how effectively they support the contributions of others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *