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When working with a team it's really important to make sure that every conversation and intervention takes account of the particular circumstances being faced. Here are a number of factors that I consider when developing an approach to working with a team:

  1. Teams are people. High performing teams recognise that when people feel able to give their best they achieve more both individually and collectively. Obvious? Maybe, yet often overlooked. 

  2. Team members have multiple roles. Honest recognition that team members have multiple professional and personal roles to fulfil is a key enabler to understanding what's possible.

  3. Trust and openness. Sustainable high performing environments have high levels of trust and openness. These require deliberate action to build and maintain. 

  4. A thought-through Way of Working. Ensuring a team has considered and bought into a Way of Working enables the collective to lead and manage through the good and less good times.

  5. Clarity and objectivity.  Developing clarity about what the team is looking to achieve and where it's starting from is often under-invested. Sometimes because it's 'obvious' or too difficult. Without clarity, it becomes harder to be objective about any given situation. 

  6. Working on the things you can influence. Despite claims to the contrary, for many teams identifying the things you can influence about a situation is a mindset shift. Working out how to adopt a proactive position and take practical action towards what you want to achieve whilst monitoring the results takes discipline and focus that many teams fall short of.

  7. Working out what commitment looks like. There are many teams that do much of the above. Often at an offsite or an away day.  They then get frustrated that the progress they want doesn't materialise and end up losing heart.  In my experience of working in and with high-performing teams, this is because there is limited recognition of the difference between motivation and commitment. Motivation is variable. (Typically high after spending time away from the inbox discussing grand plans at a nice offsite venue.) Commitment is what you'll do irrespective of the circumstances. Identifying what commitment looks like for a team is often enhanced by external challenge and objectivity.

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