- an acknowledgement of one's own strengths and deficits...using the Birkman Profile for the past two plus years has made each of us all too aware of who we are and what makes us tick. Beyond acknowledging our own behaviors, we work to manage those behaviors and improve in areas that might hold back our own performance or the team's perfomance. We keep visiting these behaviors at every offsite meeting just to remind ourselves of who we are and how we behave.
- an acknowledgement of each other's strengths and deficits...as we explore our own behaviors, so we get to know the behaviors of each other. Our coach (who attends each of the offsite meetings with us) helps us discover new insights about each other. The more we know about each other, and the more we accept each other as we are, the more we can support each other and fill in the gaps for each other...and of course, we can do that because we are confident that fellow team members are working to improve on their own strengths and deficits.
- an unwavering commitment to working with each other...no member on the team does their work in a silo, knowing that to get the most information (and the right information) they need to talk together, plan together, and collaborate on the work they do together. This is not always easy as people can be physically scattered, time is often short, and each member of the team has their own team to worry about. Regular check-ins and weekly meetings help to foster this behavior, but it is the unwavering commitment of each team member toward this behavior that really makes this happen.
- a commitment to getting better as a team...at the end of each quarterly offsite, we ask ourselves how we are better as a team than we were eight hours earlier; we are willing to be all in with the team exercises our coach puts us through; we commit to act fully in agreement when decisions are made; we keep reading about and exploring what makes a team better; and we do regular evaluations of ourselves as a team. We noted at the end of this week's offsite that this is not something we should take for granted and that we will need to be ever vigilant to those items that could derail us as a team.
- the ability to hold each other and the team accountable to results...at the end of the day, it is results that matter. The ability to execute decisions is the pinnacle of a highly functioning team, something that is not easy to come by. The use of dashboards...the charts, graphs, and emails that remind us how we are doing...the regular check-ins that are about what we have accomplished...the commitment to ask hard questions when results are not reached - all of these help us to hold each other and the team accountable to results.
The work of these types of teams often goes unseen throughout the organization. It is work done behind closed doors or offsite...it is work done with the trust and confidence of each other...it is work done that can expose one's deficits...it is work done that, given the opportunity, many people would rather not do. And, at the end of the day, it is work done that brings deep satisfaction and great meaning to one's vocation. I am thankful to have this type of team and look forward to working with them for a long time.