Building teamwork is a relatively untapped activity because it’s hard to measure. There are other worries to attend to in the early stages of a startup that may seem more important – funding, customer satisfaction, marketing, technology etc. But without establishing a good sense of teamwork early on, you are putting your company on defense.
According to Patrick Lencioni the author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, “Teamwork remains the one sustainable competitive advantage.” Lencioni describes “trust” as the bedrock of teamwork upon which commitment, accountability, constructive conflict and attention to results rests. If you haven’t read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (2002) already, I highly recommend it. It is timeless advice for companies on a race against time and competitors.
At your next team meeting try out an exercise called the Personal Histories Exercise for building trust. Whenever I offer this exercise at my workshops, the results are quite revealing and sustaining. For a team to work together successfully, a certain level of openness and vulnerability is needed. From hearing about each other’s childhood challenges and epiphanies, a team can better understand each other’s ways of thinking, communicating and getting things done. It’s also interesting to hear why each team member was drawn to entrepreneurship in the first place! It is a great way to create a better team connection and build trust. Give it a try!
Communication is a COREageous element of any successful team. Let me know how I can enhance your team’s communication. Contact me at [email protected]