Chemistry between people is defined as “the interaction of one personality with another.” Just as the science of chemistry deals with “the composition and properties of substances,” the science of Team Chemistry deals with the composition of the team and how it functions.
As a team grows larger, the Team Chemistry grows exponentially more complex. The chemistry between any two individuals on a team can positively or negatively impact the team as a whole. Various sub-groups within a team may have their own chemistry. Changing circumstances and external forces can also impact behavior.
Behavioral profiles such as DISC can go a long way in predicting and understanding how groups interact. However, there is much that can be learned from simply watching a team interact.
This past weekend I had the privilege of speaking to my client Louise Thaxton’s team about the 7 Revelations of Irrefutable Success I wrote about in The Street Sweeper. During that time, I got to “hang out” with them. I learned about them as individuals, and as a team. Although I have observed many teams over the years, I have never seen one with better chemistry.
While considering what made this team so cohesive, I discovered four components which lay the foundation for healthy Team Chemistry:
1) They share a common purpose. Each individual on the team fully understands the purpose of the team, as well as their specific role and how it interacts with others.
2) They have a clear vision for the future. Each individual knows and can clearly articulate what they plan to accomplish together.
3) They like each other. They don’t have to be best friends, but there must be a friendly atmosphere. Healthy teams can (and should) disagree at times, but they foster an environment where each individual is treated with respect.
4) They believe in the leader. As John Maxwell said, “Everything rises and falls with leadership.” Good leaders know how to rally the team around their purpose and toward their vision.
Whether you lead a team or you are a member of a team led by someone else, ask yourself the following questions:
– Does my team have a sense of purpose? Can all members of the team articulate it?
– Is there a clear vision for the future? Does everyone understand where we are going and what it will take to get there?
– Do I like my teammates? Do we treat each other with camaraderie and respect?
– Is our team’s leadership effective? Does the team follow the leader?
If you find your team has gaps in one or more of these areas, then remember that you must work on yourself first.
How have you effectively improved your team’s chemistry? In what areas do you most need to grow?