High performing teams require a deep connection to each other – are you creating the right conditions?

Have you ever felt so deeply connected to someone, or a group of people, that you often noticed you were operating as a unified whole? Perhaps it was a sibling, a partner, a sporting team, or were you one of the lucky few who found this level of connection in the workplace?

You could finish each other’s sentences, answer questions before they were even asked.. in essence you were continuously anticipating ‘what’s next’ as though you were wired together. You weren’t conscious of it happening, it just happened.

The highest performing teams know how to tap into this level of connection. In fact they depend on it to achieve the remarkable results that they do.

But it sounds like something that would take time to develop right? Yes it would – if you didn’t know how to create the conditions for it to emerge, or if you are amongst a group of people who aren’t willing to go there.

The conditions involve a few essential ingredients: trust, respect and commitment.

Trust in your own and others abilities to do what needs to be done. Respect for each other first as people and second for the unique contribution that each brings to the team. And a commitment to each other that you’ll maintain this trust and respect through the highs and lows of your pursuit.

I have found that these conditions typically emerge through interpersonal adversity. Shared experiences of hardship, of challenge, or fear and vulnerability. The sort of hardship that comes when life is at risk.

But here’s the catch – you don’t actually have to risk your life to find it. As humans we share an evolutionary trait that our brains cannot distinguish the difference between physical danger and social danger. When we create conditions of social risk in a team setting we have the capacity to connect people in the same way teams connect on the battle field, when getting it wrong could actually mean losing life.

And so now I’m sure you appreciated why I suggest you will not achieve this with a group of people who are not willing to go there — becuase if you won’t subject yourself to social risk you won’t achieve this connection.

When we bring together teams to accelerate outcomes we know that success won’t stick if we don’t consider this dimension, because no matter how good the solution or plan, the group will fall short on the trust and commitment required to deliver it.

As we head into the new year I’ll be writing about some examples of both how we’ve nailed this in accelerated workshops and where we’ve fallen short. Meanwhile I’d love to hear your own experiences about where you’ve experienced this level of connection and what you believe made that possible.

If you found this thought provoking or interesting please like, comment and share.

Let’s accelerate your success,

Nicolas Rivers.