Ever worked with a high performing team where things just ripped along? There was high energy, constructive disagreements, proactive solution finding? It’s not just the accidental gathering of the right personalities; there’s a process. This team nirvana is possible, if we cultivate the right conditions for the team.

effective teams

Here are the important components:

  1. Clear sense of meaningful purpose. We all work harder when we believe in the cause, and we know why and what we’re doing.

  2. A way to measure progress. We need to know if we are getting closer or further away from our goals.

  3. Feedback on our performance. Are we hitting, or missing, the mark? What is working well from a team interaction point of view?

  4. Sense of control. Do we have control over the process? This means we can dive in and really lean into the challenge.

  5. Good listening. We need to be able to hear and understand each other’s point of view so we can resolve differences effectively.

  6. Complete concentration. Flow requires dedicated environments with few distractions so we can really wrestle with solutions to challenges.

  7. A bit of risk. Excitement is a nudge past anxiety. We need a little uncertainty, a little risk of failure, to encourage us to step up and push our performance. This is the challenge/skill ratio that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote about in his seminal work, Flow. We want the Goldilocks balance between a bit of challenge that meets or extends our skills.

  8. FUN. Work can be exhilarating, if we set it up right. Good natured banter, a sense of collegiality, anticipation of achievement, and a well earned celebration is the energising aspect of being part of a team.

Which element could you work on now to encourage your team into a group flow state of productivity?