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Keys to Cultural Success on Your Team

Keys to Cultural Success on Your Team
January 28, 2022 | Andre Harakas | 5 min read

Methods for Creating a Winning Team Culture

Some professional teams are known for their “winning culture.” Some examples being the New England Patriots, the San Antonio Spurs, and the New York Yankees. These teams are all known for dominating their competition, and for their strong team culture.

As a result, we sought to find out why certain teams outperform others and why the whole is greater than the parts. For many people, the solution is ‘team culture.’ But, precisely, what does this imply? What’s more, how can you effectively cultivate it within your team?

A Group of Friends

Many people have dubbed this year “the year of the underdogs,” with underdogs statistically performing much better than in previous years. Many have credited their success to the players’ camaraderie, calling them as a “band of brothers.” But what motivates people to work together as a group?

Organizational culture, according to leading scholars, is defined as “common values, beliefs, expectations, and practices among the members of an organization.” Culture is described as an unconscious knowledge of ‘how we do things around here’ that everyone feels but cannot see. According to sport-specific research and assessments, this might include team-specific traditions, rituals, and symbols.

A high-performing culture is established via team values, beliefs, and practices for top athletic teams, where performance excellence is a critical component of success. The importance of culture in fostering optimum performance in Olympic teams has been shown. Adaptability and team conflict management, in particular, have been shown to increase team performance.

The adaptive traits of being open to new information and adaptable to change have been found to minimize performance stagnation. Conflict, which is unavoidable, may be handled to promote development and innovation, as well as problem resolution and team performance.

The Key to Success in Culture Development

Teams that can foster an adaptive, open-to-conflict culture as a source of innovation and new learning should expect to see more optimum and enhanced performance. Based on my study, I’ve come up with six suggestions for improving team culture:

There are six approaches to enhance the culture of your team. Have a good understanding of your team’s culture.

1. Take some time as a group to evaluate your company’s culture. What essential values, beliefs, behaviors, and vision do you promote and strive toward?

What type of performance do you often witness (good or bad) and what does it accomplish (grow or stagnate / foster new thinking or not)? What are your team’s strategies for dealing with setbacks, disputes, and challenges? You must first understand how you work as a team in order to develop or alter a culture.

2. Assign team members accountability for the development of your team’s culture.

Culture isn’t static, and it won’t always be favorable or bad. It becomes reliant on everyone in your team’s mentality (development or fixed) and psychological momentum.

They claim that happiness or negativity is contagious, and culture is no exception. Everyone is responsible for the team’s success, and they must be aware of this.

If you really want your team to buy into a culture, they must be the ones to take ownership of it, create it, and put it into action.

3. Encourage shared team experiences.

The majority of athletes claimed their teams learned to be adaptive by going through new experiences together. These experiences are entirely reliant on the team’s priorities. What became evident, though, was that if a group learns to cope with problems jointly, they will learn to overcome them together. This is more successful than their learning alone since it keeps them together and fosters trust and reliance in one another, all of which help them perform better.

4. Accept team disagreement as a normal and important part of life.

Do not try to avoid confrontation; it has been shown to be a highly effective technique of addressing underlying issues or worries among team members. It encourages people to consider other approaches to addressing problems or conquering obstacles. Remember that conflict works best when it is skillfully controlled; constructive criticism and dialogues are the most beneficial approaches to conflict resolution.

This mindset is one of the pillars of the New Zealand Rugby Team’s success. It is critical to be able to communicate freely, honestly, and productively without taking personal offense.

5. Encourage athletes to participate in group discussions by sharing their thoughts and views.

This is related to the effective use of conflict. Involving the whole team (athletes and coach) in the decision-making process not only fosters adaptation, but it also helps to develop team cohesiveness and may empower your players. A productive team conversation about which path to follow and why may help dispel uncertainties and ensure that everyone is on the same page and working toward the same objective.

6. Involve everyone in the culture (ensure that everyone on the team understands who the ‘team’ is).

As previously said, culture is the duty of everyone – it does not end with the sports team. While leaders or coaches play an important role in defining expectations, visions, and ideals, particularly for younger teams, you will need the cooperation of other members of the team to disseminate the word.

Many people think of the welfare and support personnel when they think of this. To fully become alive, all other persons who seek to improve the athletes’ performance must buy into the same culture, which is guided by the same expectations.

Final Conclusion

It’s challenging to create a productive team culture. Although it might be difficult to persuade players to put the ‘me’ aside in favor of the ‘us,’ the benefits are well worth the effort. “The whole may be larger than the sum of its parts,” as Aristotle and subsequent Gestalt psychologists observed.

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