Extraordinary teams are rare.
Most of us are more familiar with what it feels like to work on an unsatisfactory or average team. Why? Because teams are made up of people – and individual people are complex. When you bring together a collection of individuals, the teams they make up are infinitely more complicated.
How, then, would most of us know if we happen to be lucky enough to work on an extraordinary team? Extraordinary teams enjoy working together. These teams members usually wake up in the morning looking forward to going to the office. Extraordinary teams know where they are going and they take action, together. They recognize when something goes wrong, and they change, deliberately, to make things better.
Teams don’t have to be perfect to be extraordinary.
You can create a more productive, happier team – a team experience you can be proud of. It might seem far-off or improbable, but it can be done. You can do it.
Because even extraordinary teams are made up of imperfect people. People who occasionally forget to feed the dog before they leave for work, who sometimes lose their keys or their tempers or miss deadlines. People who laugh at the wrong things, have been known to feel awkward at parties, or would rather be anywhere other than sitting in a meeting at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon. Wonderful people just like you – and just like us.
In fact, we think you deserve and should expect to work in better teams. It’s our manifesto. We at Facilitator On Fire can guide you to becoming an extraordinary team. It isn’t easy, but it is within your reach.
What makes a group a team, anyway? So glad you asked! Based on our work with countless groups over the years, we have developed a short list of what defines a team:
- common purpose,
- a core group of members,
- expectations to fulfill, and
- spending time working together (in person or virtually).
Everything about creating an extraordinary team is hard. It is hard work to define and explain purpose, and to set and share expectations. And human relationships are always complicated – especially the part about working together.
Facilitator On Fire exists for two simple but closely related purposes:
- We love helping teams solve problems and take action together, and
- We are passionate about helping teams grow in the direction of extraordinary.
As a society, we tend to think of teams as existing primarily in work and sports. Yet it is critical to recognize that we are surrounded by teams every day. Here are some other names our teams go by: families, classes, worship and volunteer groups. That’s why we take our work personally, because the stakes are incredibly high. Like you, we work in teams made up of imperfect people, too.
There’s a limitless amount of territory to explore in the area of becoming a better, more productive and happier team. In this blog, we want to cover the topics that are most critical to you. Tell us what challenges you are facing so we can help you move your team toward extraordinary.
Help us Help YOU
Leave a comment below to tell us how or where your team is struggling. We pledge to provide you with insight and solutions to help you build success for every one of your teams.
Comments will be moderated. Facilitator on Fire and the Teams That Work Better blog is committed to creating safe experiences to learn together about teams. We are not afraid of hard questions, so please ask and comment about things that are difficult or might be touchy! Language intended to harm others will not be permitted in comments or at live events; moderation will be made and comments allowed at the sole discretion of Facilitator on Fire team members.
In my experience, you are right on target, Kay! A couple challenges with which I am familiar in terms of forming a team, whether at home, among friends, or at work, include:
– vulnerability. Be willing to risk trusting others
– humility. Need to know what one can and can’t do
– charity. Be willing to help team members. As you pointed out, anyone can have a rough day.
– discipline. Bring skills to the table.
-willingness to participate. Combine those skills with others.
The list goes on. Great blog!
Thanks, Gary! I appreciate your thoughtful list and I agree. No matter what role someone has on a team – leader or team member – they can make a positive impact in each of these areas. When I tackle these in upcoming blog posts, I will give specific strategies on how to approach and incorporate them to make teams happier and more productive.