Advertising

How to Form an Unstoppable Team with Your Colleagues for Massive Success

How to Form an Unstoppable Team with Your Colleagues for Massive Success
Advertising

Have you ever heard the tired old cliché “there’s no ‘I’ in team”? Well, it may be a phrase that makes you roll your eyes, but when it comes to group dynamics in the workplace, it pays to concentrate on improving these forces to create an unstoppable team.

What Are Group Dynamics and How They Are Important to Team Cooperation

A phrase coined in the 1940s by Kurt Lewin, a social psychologist, group dynamics [1] refer to the roles and behaviors people take on when they work in a group—and how those factors affect the team as a whole. Group dynamics affect everything from productivity to morale, and for a team to be to be successful, it’s important for these dynamics to be positive and supportive, rather than toxic and disconnected.

Some of the most well-known roles people often take on in a group setting can quickly deteriorate communication and stymie creativity. Some people take on the role of the aggressor, constantly disagreeing with others who speak up. Variations on this stereotype are those who are constantly negative and critical, or constantly try to seek recognition for themselves. Others take on the opposite role: remaining as quiet and passive as possible, contributing as little as possible.

Advertising

Teams with poor group dynamics also often fall into groupthink—defaulting to one way of thinking because it’s easier than proper communication. Groupthink kills innovation and creativity, and is often spurred on by poor leadership.

How Your Team Can Benefit from Applying the Concept

The benefits of good group dynamics are massive. Team members who can trust one another are more likely to support or question ideas based on their own thoughts and feelings, rather than on what the group as a whole thinks, leading to greater innovation and creativity. Morale is generally higher in teams with positive group dynamics, leading to improved productivity and employee retention. Team members may actually start looking forward to meetings instead of dreading them!

There really is no downside to improving group dynamics, but doing so does take some work. You can’t implement changes and immediately expect them to work—it’s a process that takes time. However, it’s well worth the effort to bring the team closer together.

Advertising

6 Effective Ways to Promote Positive Group Dynamics

Now that you know how important positive group dynamics are, it’s time to take action. Here are some tips for bringing your team closer together and reaping the benefits!

Understand Your Team

Different personalities on your team will heavily influence the group dynamics that naturally occur. Start by observing the different skills and traits your team members bring to the table so you can leverage those skills in the group. Introverted team members may have great ideas but don’t speak up much, and may need a little coaxing, for example.

Set Expectations

Don’t let your team meetings be a free-for-all. Set up expectations for each team member’s role, the meeting itself, and the format it will take. Amazon’s CEO[2] has set up an unusual practice for getting thoughtful input from all team members: each meeting starts with every member reading the meeting’s agenda for 20-30 minutes before making comments. Shaking up the traditional PowerPoint and uneven input of a traditional meeting can lead to great results. Get creative with your meetings to ensure that everyone has a voice!

Advertising

Distribute Delegation

Knowing your team is important when delegating new projects. Distributing delegation based on each employees’ skills, interests, and drive is very important for leveraging all the talent on your team and improving overall equality.

Promote Diverse Viewpoints

Part of this tip involves bringing a diverse workforce[3] on your team if at all possible. People with different backgrounds bring something new to the table, and can help the team avoid groupthink. Different age groups, ethnicities, and experiences can all help breathe new life into group dynamics, so it’s important to encourage everyone to contribute.

Use Team-Building Exercises

Team-building exercises[4] may make most people roll their eyes, but there’s a reason they continue to see use: they can help build trust on a team. Trust falls may have fallen out of fashion (and that’s not a bad thing!), but there are so many exercises you can use to help improve group dynamics and welcome new members into the group.

Advertising

Don’t Allow Problems to Fester

If you start to notice hostility or toxicity within the group, it’s crucial to address it right away. This is where emotional intelligence[5] is very helpful—use your empathy and put yourself in the shoes of your team. Why are problems popping up? How can you solve them before they get worse? Allowing problems to work themselves out is rarely effective—you need to promote good communication and deal with problems before they undo all the progress you’ve made toward positive group dynamics.

Reference

More by this author

The One Practice That Will Help You Face with Every Challenge Much More Easily How to Form an Unstoppable Team with Your Colleagues for Massive Success 11 Rules That Creative People Live By

Trending in Productivity

1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
Advertising

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next