Ad Florem Blog

Teams? Who’d work in one?

Ad Florem Blog

Have you ever wondered:

  • What makes a successful team?
  • Why do some teams ‘work’, and others don’t?
  • What’s a good size team?

If the answer is yes …great. Here I share my personal experiences of positive teams …and ‘not so good’ teams; and next time I’ll share some research I’ve done recently about the optimum size team.

Over the years, I’ve worked in many teams, and also managed a number of teams.

Some, I’d like to say were positive experiences …others maybe not so.

On reflection, the positive experiences were when we were all on the same page …as in we knew our purpose, what we were aiming for, knew how each person contributed to it, and understood our team processes. To describe us as a collective, I would say we:

  • Were always striving for the best
  • Were genuinely authentic
  • Stayed true to our values,
  • Encouraged the people we worked with to grow
  • Backed each other up
  • Gave the credit to the right person
  • Reviewed our work
  • Celebrated our achievements
  • Had fun
  • Were collaborative – we stood by the coaching principle of ‘ask not tell’
  • Trusted each other

But, most importantly …we had clear and effective leadership.

On the flip side to this, is my experiences of a ‘not so good’ team where I:

  • didn’t feel comfortable
  • looked for the negatives
  • couldn’t be myself
  • was told what to do
  • was never asked for my opinion or enabled to share my story
  • was unclear what my purpose was
  • was squashed for challenging people
  • had a micromanaging boss

…and because of all this, didn’t trust or feel trusted.

What was interesting for me, as I was doing my reflection, was how when I talked about the positive team, I talked about ‘we’; however when I talked about the ‘not so good’ team, I talked about ‘me’.

With the positive experiences, there was definitely a connection with being part of something, and less focus on ‘me’; yet the ‘not so good’ experiences felt very much alone, with much more of a focus on ‘me’.

I’ve always thought the reasons I’d experienced the positive teams was because of the elements listed above …that’s until I recently did some research on ‘what’s the optimum team size?’ which I’ll share next time.

What became even more interesting in my research, is the revelation that my positive experiences all took part when I belonged to a team made up of numbers between 4-6; and my experiences of a ‘not so good’ team were all outside this range.

So, over to you
  • What’s your experience of working in teams?
  • What size teams have you worked in?

I’d love to hear from you about your experiences …but most importantly, let me know what you’ve learned from your experiences.

Thanks for exploring with Ad Florem

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