Team chemistry is something we usually don’t think about unless it’s not there. But it’s that X factor that allows an entire group to elevate its work. Teams with good chemistry understand one another’s strengths and weaknesses and work in a way that maximizes strengths and minimizes weaknesses. They also provide opportunities for each team member to grow. Here are some ideas on how you can bring your team together and cultivate that all-important chemistry.
Clearly define roles and expectations
Each team member needs to understand their role and accept it right from the start of the project. Not only that, but you need to match the right skills to the right position. In order to do this, you may need to reassign roles—but that could go a long way toward creating a more positive, constructive atmosphere.
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Make sure every team member understands the goals
There’s no better way to build chemistry than working toward the same goals. However, team members further down in the hierarchy may be too detached from company strategy to understand why a project is happening. Prevent this problem by making sure each person understands not only what the goal is but WHY it is a goal. Then break down that large goal into actionable steps so your team members can see their accomplishments.
Help your team members understand one another
Use personality assessments such as the Neris Type Explorer (based on the Myers-Briggs personality test) or Deloitte’s Business Chemistry system to get your team members talking about their work and personality styles. Once you understand more about your individual colleagues, you’ll be much less likely to deal with miscommunications that can derail a project.
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Nip conflict in the bud
When you bring together a high-energy team filled with different personalities and talents, it’s inevitable that some kind of conflict will eventually arise. When it does, spend one-on-one time with individuals so you can get to the heart of relationship conflict and move beyond it. Then bring the conflict participants together in a private space and help them talk it out.
Mix men and women
Wooley et al. did a study that concluded that teams which included men and women performed better than teams that only included men. Hooogendoorn et al. found that teams with equal gender mixes outperformed male-only and female-only groups in a business exercise.
Continue to nurture your team
Don’t speak negatively of your team members—not to other team members or people outside your group or company. Provide tangible proof of your support such as compensation and training, and intangible proof like recognition, positive reinforcement, and pats on the back. But don’t just praise your “rock stars.” Make sure your non-starring players get recognition for their commitment to improving their and their team’s performance.
Do you have any other tips for building and maintaining a cohesive team with good chemistry? Please share them in the comments.