Teamwork Moments of Truth to Foster Higher Performance

Teamwork Moments of Truth to Foster Higher Performance
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Are You Leveraging Teamwork Moments of Truth?
The term “moments of truth” is most often applied to marketing when a customer forms a significant impression about a company, brand, product, or service. Marketers try hard to use these moments to create positive, customer-centric outcomes.

But the term can be more broadly used to describe those impactful moments at work when leaders interact with their team. If you think of the term this way, every team interaction has the potential to be a moment of truth for leaders, their key stakeholders, and their work.

For most organizations today, the bulk of strategically important and complex work gets done through teams. Recent research by MIT confirms that teams are as fast as the fastest individual and more efficient than the most efficient individual when the task is complex.

Knowing when to use teams and how to build a high performance team at work is a critical skill for managers. Think of work teams as the machinery that produces value; the better “oiled” they are, the higher the performance. 

Great teams are able to accomplish complex goals and accountabilities faster, with better results, and more reliably over time. In fact, a study at Yale found that the performance level between a working group of employees versus a great team is higher by a factor of ten. 

Equip Team Managers
So, how do you prepare and equip team leaders to capitalize on moments of truth that can enhance team performance? It all happens within the framework of healthy communication which facilitates better understanding of one another, opportunities for collaboration to overcome hurdles and maximize productivity, smoother paths to achieving goals, and flexibility to deal with change.

Four Conversations that Can Lead to Teamwork Moments of Truth to Foster Higher Performance
Here are four types of team conversations you as a manager should become familiar with in order to foster positive moments of truth.  Pay attention to and be intentional with each interaction to lift your team’s connectedness and performance.

  1. The Drive-by
    Not all productive conversations need to be formal, planned, and lengthy. A quick chat allows you to touch base often, show you care, find out what’s working, and identify where your employee may need your help.

    Remember, even a 30-second conversation leaves an impression.
  2. The One-on-One
    One-on-one conversations should be scheduled regularly (every two weeks is best). Their purpose is to reinforce strategic priorities and check progress. Consider these sessions your opportunity as a manager to review expectations and determine where employees need support.

    Remember, make the conversation about them and what they need.
  3. On-the-Spot Coaching
    Be alert to opportunities to provide developmental performance coaching in the moment. The most valuable feedback is timely and specific to the observed behavior. The objective is to improve future performance, not to criticize or belittle.

    Remember, neuroscience says to provide five positive comments for every piece of negative feedback.
  4. Review of Current and Future Goals
    Monthly and quarterly, you should meet with your team to review achievements, clarify future goals and aspirations, and identify areas for improvement. Each team member should come away from these sessions with a clear understanding of how they contribute to the team goals and how their contributions mesh with those of their coworkers.

    Remember, strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams.

The Bottom Line
Are your team leaders and managers taking advantage of these important teamwork moments of truth to set their teams up for success?  Every interaction has the potential to strengthen individual commitment and team performance. They form the teamwork moments of truth.

To learn more about leading high performance teams, download 5 Steps to Align Project Teams to Pull in the Same Direction

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