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Posted 04/19/2018

Building Effective Teams – Part II

What is the foundation of an effective, productive team?

In the same way that a building requires a sturdy foundation to stabilize the structure, an effective team must have a defined and understood purpose on which to build. Why are we here and what are we trying to accomplish, are questions that must have definable answers. Each member must be able to grasp their contribution to the effort and understand their role on the team.

Knowing where you’re headed, why you need to get there, and when you need to arrive are crucial to a team’s success. But the one ingredient that will either make or break a team is the trust factor.

Google spent years striving to determine what makes an effective team. Their study, code-named Project Aristotle, after the famous philosopher's quote "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts," returned valuable insights into what makes a team successful.

Google published some of its findings here, along with this statement:

“The researchers found that what really mattered was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together.”

Google describes their findings this way:

“In a team with high psychological safety, teammates feel safe to take risks around their team members. They feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.”

In short, great teams thrive on trust.

This trust must be a two-way street. The team leader must trust the various members. The team members must trust the leader. But wait. Rather than a two-way street, what’s needed is a continuous loop of high-level trust because each team member also has to trust every other team member. That’s a whole lot of trust, but it works. Research has shown that the best teams are nearly 50 times more likely to consciously work hard at building and maintaining trust than their less successful counterparts.

But why is trust such a big deal?

Because trust builds the type of atmosphere that invites—no, actually, ushers in off-the-wall ideas, challenging feedback and honest evaluations. When trust comes full circle, there’s no room for or even a temptation to ignore something that’s amiss. Candor and honesty are not only welcome but expected. That kind of trust is secure in the fact that the team’s agenda is king. No hidden agendas, personal or otherwise. Instead, a unified stand permeates the actions and decisions of the group. And that’s when teamwork is at its very best.

Both candidates and clients can trust the experience and expertise of MPS Technical’s more than twenty years of matching the best of the workforce with the best of the precision manufacturing sector in the Minnesota/Wisconsin region. Contact one of our team members for assistance in building your team.