Welcome to the Leadership Vision Podcast where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture.
Today on the podcast, Brian Schubring and I discuss seven elements that lead to team health. We conducted a series of team engagement series interviews and identified these seven things as being consistent signs of healthy teams. In today’s episode, we’re going to share multiple examples of each of these seven elements to help you begin identifying the health of your team. This is important because if you know what to look for, you can do some preventative care and guide your team to a healthier future.
If you have questions about anything you here in this episode, please drop us an email at email@example.com, there’s also a link in the show notes, or reach out on our blog, or social media platform of choice.
Paying Attention to Our Health
What does it mean to be a healthy person?
As you think about how you might answer that question, consider the word health broadly; Physical health, mental health, emotional health, etc. All of us have gone through seasons of life when health in those areas has been hard to come by. But most adults understand what health looks. Maybe we don’t know how to reach that desired level of health, but we probably know when we need to seek outside help. Whether or not we actually do this, well sometimes that’s part of the problem.
This fall I had what turned out to be strep throat. It was awful. What started as a little tickle in the back of my throat on a Wednesday evening, ended with me being in bed until Saturday morning. I finally went to the doctor, got Antibiotics, pumped multivitamins and herbal remedies, slept more, drank more water, and tried everything I could think of to get better.
A few weeks later, I got strep again.
But this time as soon as I started feeling that little tickle in the back of my throat I went almost straight to bed, started drinking gallons of water and popping those herbal pills and vitamins. I made an appointment with the Dr. for the first thing the next morning and got on antibiotics less than 12 hours from the first signs of symptoms. It was little more than an inconvenience and mild sore throat.
My point in sharing that with you is that it’s like this with teams. When we learn how to pay attention to the signs of team sickness or impending dysfunction we’re able to minimize the sickness that inevitably comes from working closely with others. We believe that paying attention to that metaphorical little tickle at the back of the throat will set your team up for greater success in the long term.
The 7 Elements of Team Health
- Shared Vision – Healthy teams share a vision of “what needs to be seen.” This isn’t for the organization as a whole, but that team specifically. This is about the specific objective of a team and the vision that one team is working towards. More importantly, each person on the team should have their own vision. It’s multi leveled and involves the team talking about what they actually “see” as a group.
- Aligned Responsibilities – Part of this involves knowing what your job is, and the other part is knowing how that connects to the bigger picture. A lot of the conflict we find on teams is a misunderstanding of what individual responsibilities are. Healthy teams are aware of appropriate boundaries between different individual responsibilities and know when they need to align.
- Open-Mindedness – This involves a curiosity toward decision making and set expectations. It’s being open-minded to listening and not forming an opinion, decision, or judgment too quickly. It is being open-minded to hear others
out,and to assume positive intent to the end.
- Being Relational Known – Something magical that happens when team relationships tip from being professionally known to relationally known. When we get to the area of relational connection, we are talking about the relationships a person has outside of the working environment. Relationally know teams have a different kind of joke set that they use. They may know someone’s favorite food, children’s names or where someone lives in the city. This relationality creates a different type of root system that helps a team endure the storms of conflict.
- Professionally Trusted – Professional trust speaks to the willingness for someone to ask for help. It’s saying, “I’m going to trust you professionally because I know you can bring something to the table that I cannot.” It’s not just a focus on the individual, it’s s focus on team members working together in a collaborative way. There is a way that you develop professional trust that has an enduring
affectto it as well that ultimately leads to greater team health.
- Shared Accountability – The question here that team members want to know is, “How do I know that I’m doing a job well? How do I know what I’m being measured on?” Shared accountability is that supervisors are actually sharing with their team what they’re being held to. No one likes surprises especially when it comes to professional surprises.
- Everyone speaks – We believe that everyone has a voice and we believe that it’s important to have everyone speak. Just because you have a voice does not mean that the team is open and responsive to you actually speaking. Everyone has a chance to speak. Some voices may resonate more with the organization and they may talk more. That’s fine but there is one way to truly humanize a person and that is to give them a chance to share what it is that their thinking.
About the Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.