Team Synergy: 4 Areas That Enhance Team Performance
Teams Are the Fundamental Learning Units in Modern Organizations
The very definition of synergy is about creating something new.
Synergy is “the effect of the sum of two or more agents combined being greater than the sum of the individual agents.”
Synergy is a systemic principle that demonstrates that you cannot predict a team’s performance based solely on its member’s individual performance.
A team’s collective performance can be either better or worse than the sum of its members’ individual performances.
In our professional lives effective teamwork can make the difference between competitive advantage and disengagement—we want the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts.
But, how do we create team synergy?
Effective Dialogue Is the Key for Team Synergy
Team learning involves understanding the practice of dialogue.
Mastering dialogue opens the team to the flow of a larger intelligence that goes beyond the individuals understanding.
As a result, team members become bystanders to their own thinking.
They are free to explore complex issues, and team members no longer avoid undiscussables.
The team no longer avoids conflict or engages in rigid polarization, and insight and creative energy is available to them in a new way.
This creates a team that is capable of profound learning and sets the stage for high performance.
If teams learn in this way, they can become a microcosm for learning throughout the organization.
Team Synergy Requires Preparation
As with most human endeavors there are pre-conditions.
Preparedness can be just as important as the synergetic process itself.
There are two basic forms of preparedness:
- Personal readiness to contribute to team synergy
- Qualities that contribute to the chemistry of teamwork.
Pre-conditions for personal readiness are shared purpose (a common vision), personal mastery, and team-player skills (team learning).
Once these are in place the chemistry of teamwork requires work at the next level.
Qualities that contribute to the chemistry of teamwork are common interests, common values (e.g., humility, honesty), teamwork and discipline, role clarification, transparent communication, adaptability, and agility.
Four Areas That Encourage Team Synergy
After the pre-conditions are in place, here are guidelines that can move you towards synergy:
Team members need to focus and commit to a common objective.
Goals are clear so that each team member knows what success looks like and most importantly, how to get there.
It starts with “dialogue,” the capacity of team members to suspend assumption and enter into a genuine “thinking together.”
This liberates team members who have a deep sense of their responsibility to the team and the level of communication required of them.
This can be clarified during the planning process.
It is also important to anticipate what might go wrong and how to modify strategies during execution.
Empowerment is “The extent to which someone provides the encouragement, tools, and authority to others, enabling them to use their power, talents and skills effectively.”
As a result, each team member believes that they are fully capable of successfully completing the task at hand.
Empowered team members know that the success of the team is more important than that of any individual team member and trust their teammates to do the same.
Being a member of a synergistic team requires dedication to the overall success of the team.
Trust is critical here.
Each team member needs to know that their fellow team members are committed to supporting them and have their back.
Their success and that of their team is based on commitment.
Investing in Team Synergy Is Worth It
Investing in activities that promote team synergy is common among the best companies in the world.
Depending on the complexity of your team and situation, you may benefit from professional assistance.
Get in contact to learn if your team can benefit from a CEOE team building program.