3 Keys to Building Team Chemistry

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Is it possible to lead your organization toward greater team chemistry?

It’s not only possible, but it’s imperative.

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Chemistry is the oil that keeps the machinery of ministry running smoothly. It’s not simply having people join hands and sing Kumbaya; rather it’s a carefully nurtured environment where each person is committed to the success of their teammates.

So, how do you achieve team chemistry? I’ve learned there are three key components.

1.   “Sniff out” chemistry issues in the hiring process
In a job interview everyone is on their best behavior, so you usually won’t discover the clues about a person’s ability to get along with others here.

You need to dig deeper; you need to research the candidate’s history, looking especially for any evidence of relational shrapnel they may have left in their wake at previous jobs.

2.   Relentlessly blow-torch your team’s relational value
As leader you must set the tone for your organization. You must not only preach the value of team relationships, you must model it too.

This goes beyond merely being “nice”. This goes to creating a culture where teamwork, camaraderie and mutual support is celebrated and affirmed.

3.   Douse any relational fires immediately
Dealing with relational flare-ups on your team can suck the life out of a leader. But you need to lead through this energy-drain and jump on relational issues immediately.

At the large church where I served as executive pastor I had a department head who was technically good at his job, but I was simply growing weary of having other staff members complain about how difficult he was to work with.

It grew so bad I had to put this person on a performance plan, with relational measurements in place. We agreed that over the next three months I would conduct random “straw polls” of staff. In these conversations I would be looking for 10 people to affirm that he was improving his relational abilities.

On a staff of 35 I could find only two people in three months who could affirm this, and we ended up having to part ways.

For many leaders, building team chemistry requires focused effort, but the resulting improvement in team performance makes it worthwhile.

Just remember, chemistry is imperative.

Kumbaya is optional.

How do you achieve team chemistry?

the author

Scott Cochrane

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