Teams are dynamic, living beings; as much so as the dynamic, living beings of which they are made. They have the capability to grow and change. Asking the question, “Where are we now?” helps us to pause and reflect on our current level of performance – productivity and positivity. It gives us a marker from where we create and adjust our roadmap for achieving results. Assessing Productivity and Positivity dimensions allows us to focus on the team and its work rather than the needs of individual members. While these are important, the concentration is on how these individuals come together and how the team approaches its work.
The Team Diagnostic™ Model asks team members 80 questions in order to create a team matrix and highlight the top five positivity and top five productivity results, as well as the bottom five positivity and bottom five productivity results. These are plotted onto the matrix, and the goal is to move the team up and towards the top right corner as much as possible. This is high productivity, high positivity.
The matrix gives teams a top-line, visual overview of how they stack up against the criteria of a team which is achieving both high productivity and high positivity. Next, the results are drilled down and plotted on the Polar Diagram. This represents how members scored themselves as a team in each one of the dimensions of positivity and productivity.
The team members including the team’s leader work through a facilitated process to uncover what is underpinning each of their scores. The process
What we know is that if we start to move any of these aspects towards a higher score, we will start to ‘pull’ the others out towards a more optimal score as well. This is a system; any work you do on a system to move it in a positive and productive way ‘work’ on other dimensions as well. It is like exercising: you ‘build’ your muscle strength in one area, and you positively impact another. So as your respiratory health improves so too does your mental health, your productivity, your energy, and your restful sleep.
If we have a team on which camaraderie is low, for instance, we can start to get members to do activities to get to know each other. When they see that they may have like experiences or that they may have common goals or interests, we start to ‘pull’ on the camaraderie thread. What happens is that we also move forward on respect and trust. Communication improves, and this paves the way for constructive interactions. By working on any one aspect of positivity or productivity, the others will also move.
While strengthening results in any area will have an effect on the team’s overall performance, research tells us there are two big levers that can move teams forward perhaps faster and more effectively: accountability and communication. We find that by working on these two dimensions the whole polar diagram starts to move out to a more optimal level versus shrinking in the middle.
Accountability and Communication – it is about getting clear on our role, our responsibility, and how we fit into the big picture.
- How do I fit with the goals and strategies?
- How does what I’m doing align with other areas?
- Do I have the resources – the capability, competence, and confidence – to do this?
- Do I have the power to make decisions and to step out and act?
- How much freedom do I have?
- Do I know my leader is there for me?
All of this stems from the initial conversation around your place on the team that says, “We brought you onto the team to fulfill this role. We believe you can.” Now all these other pieces are about confirming this, about sharing with the team, and about negotiating our level of responsibility and earning greater levels of accountability.
Are these conversations full of optimism and possibility, or are you in a downward spiral of negativity? How do we change our communication so it is clear, efficient, and full of possibilities? Again, this intertwines with each of the other dimensions: do I trust that I can have these conversations? Can I have a disagreement and then get over it? Do I know who you are? Do I actually value difference and diversity?
Accountability and communication are really the big jackpots from which everything else stems. Moving these forward drives teams forward in every other dimension – and towards the achievement of their results.