If you want your team to make the leap to a High-Performing team, to elevate to highly effective, there’s a magic word to consider. And to cultivate.
It’s the greatest force on earth. In fact, social psychology research indicates that greater interdependence is more meaningful for people than the pursuit of individual goals. In other words, meaning is derived not just from how people relate to their work, but how they relate to each other.
So how do you foster such a force?
Create a Declaration of Interdependence (playing off the name of what the United States adopted on July 4th, 1776 — i.e. the Declaration of Independence). It’s a proclamation and a commitment that your team will embrace interdependence and enable it in three ways:
1. Set 3C goals.
That is, set goals that are Common, Compelling, and Cooperative. Common so everyone is working towards the same end. Compelling enough so that the goal generates energy on its own and inspires the expenditure of discretionary effort. And Cooperative in nature – lofty enough that every team member realizes the only way to achieve the goal is by everyone working together (vs. in silos).
2. Follow the “Assembly Line” rule.
This rule asks team members to think of their role as being one of many critical roles on an assembly line. You count on everyone up and down the assembly line to unswervingly do their part so you can collectively produce the output you’re all intending. Furthermore, it’s important to understand three things in particular about those you work “on the line” with to produce what you’re collectively trying to produce:
– Role clarity: Exactly what is your job, what are you expected to do, and what role do your
fellow assembly line workers play?
– Greatest gifts to invite in: What are the biggest strengths your fellow assembly line workers
have that you should be mindful to “invite in”, to proactively bring to the table?
– Values: What are your core values, and those of your fellow assembly line workers? Knowing
and sharing them brings everyone closer together, and turns guesses into good decisions.
3. Ask for DIB’s (Desired Interdependent Behaviors).
Research shows that there are a certain set of behaviors that trigger a sense of interdependence on a team. Ask for the very specific following behaviors to be “Standard Operating Procedure” on your team:
– Willingness to ask for help
– Reliability (do what you say you will)
– Commitment (to the mission)
– Accountability (own your part of the assembly line)
– Team-first mentality
– Truth and transparency
That’s it. Drop these steps into a document (A “Declaration of Interdependence”) and share with your team. They’ll be far more likely to step up their effectiveness and sense of cohesion.
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