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Teamwork people

2 min read

5 motivational bridges to team working

30 second summary:

To develop a high performing team, the values of individual team members need to be tied to the team’s results…

Drawing on the work of David Rock (anthropologist and neuropsychologist), this article investigates five motivation factors that bridge individual and team work.

High performance teams consist of team members who successfully negotiate 5 motivational bridges.

Tie what an individual values to the team’s results and you tie individual motivation to high performance team-working.

So what do individuals value, fight to protect against loosing? What are the questions team leaders need to address to secure these factors for those working in teams? Drawing on the work of David Rock:

  1. Status – So who am I in the pecking order and what role do I play in the success of the team? Am I the goalkeeper, the striker, the defender? Am I the one who drives results, who challenges thinking, who implements agreed actions, who checks completion, who organises activity, who generates ideas, who builds the team-spirit? On what contribution do I base my “status”?
  2. Certainty – And how achievable is the team goal? How sure can I be that all of my colleagues are well suited for their roles and committed to putting in their best effort to deliver that goal, our required results, in the specified timeframe?
  3. Autonomy – What freedom will I have to do what I need to do, when I need to do it, the way I am naturally inclined to do it, to make my full and best contribution to the team result? Will you trust me to know and to act appropriately when I’m asked to sacrifice my part of the results, perhaps pass the ball even when I have “a shot at goal”, to support others who have a better chance of making a greater contribution?
  4. Relatedness – What time and tolerance will there be to connect more closely with fellow team members with whom I have a real and natural affinity, even as I work more transactionally with others in the team?
  5. Fairness – How will you reward me for what I personally contribute, even if part of my total reward is based on team results (over which I have less control) and on how I help other team members outperform?

Some say “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’; but, you know, there are two 'i's' in ‘organisation’!
So how are you negotiating the above bridges in your organisational context?

Cora Lynn Heimer Rathbone

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