Winning Sports Teams Possess High TQ – So Can Your Team

April 23, 2018

In studying dozens of winning sports teams, I have found they consistently possess a high TQ (Team Quotient).  I have derived eight successful characteristics that most of them share and that ultimately can be applied to businesses teams. It’s doable and achievable with the right attitude, energy, and perseverance.

 

1. Mutual Reliance (Collaboration & Cooperation)

 

Team Sports:

In most ball games, winning only comes through superior teamwork; kicking, passing, or throwing are the keys to scoring and require at least two participants. Team drills reinforcing how the team will work together represent the cornerstone of preparation and ultimate success.

 

Applied to Business Teams:

Imagine an environment in which the team needs to cooperate, have the right attitude, and collaborate with a sense of shared values, in order to succeed. They could not afford to allow conflict to linger. The fact is, in order to maximize performance potential, the team needs to work seamlessly.

 2. Challenge (Feedback)

 

Team Sports:

Whether challenged by the coach or by fellow team members, raising the bar of expectations is essential to continuous improvement. Challenges come all sorts of interactions; from passing and tackling, but also cajoling, gesturing, etc.

 

Applied to Business Teams:

Frequent and constructive feedback is the key to increasing individual and team performance.  Companies that encourage a ‘feedback culture’ move much more quickly and nimbly as team members become open and willing to learn from each other.

 

3. Awareness:

 

Team Sports:

If you are a member of a crew team, you can literally feel your teammates’ rowing; it’s all about synchronicity. Team members have a heightened awareness of each other.

 

Applied to Business Teams:

With self-awareness, and awareness of other members’ styles, teams can move on to acceptance of mutual diversity. This leads ultimately to appreciation of the value that other members bring to the table. Awareness is a learned skill that engenders emotional intelligence and goes a long way towards creating High TQ.

4. Identity and Pride

 

Team Sports:

Being part of a winning sports team is like being a rock star, bringing with it adulation and various other rewards. Indeed, the team ends up generating a whole culture unto itself.

 

Applied to Business Teams:

What if you went to work every day with a sense of pride that you were working for the ‘A Team,’ the best in the industry and the finest in the company? This sense of identity and pride has legs; the team culture becomes infectious!

 

5. Trust and Confidence

 

Team Sports:

Team members possess a knowing of who is good at what, and an implicit trust that fellow members can and will deliver. Team members take care of each other to the best of their abilities.

 

 Applied to Business Teams:

You work hard to gain and maintain trust then you can relax as you know that others have your back, and have confidence that other team members are operating for what’s best for the business and the team. There are no secret agendas.

6. Success and Performance

 

Team Sports:

So powerful is team success that team members will do virtually anything to win and become ‘champions’. Players feel an imperative to ‘show up’ for the benefit of the team.

 

Applied to Business Teams:

You have defined what success means, team members are performing at full capacity, contributing to the team’s results. You don’t want to let the team down, and ‘showing up’ is an important motivator.

 

7. Motivation and Fun

 

Team Sports:

Great teams not only work hard but also have fun. For many, playing together with their teammates is their passion, and forms their most powerful and fondest memories.

 

Applied to Business Teams:

You want to win because it brings incredible drive, energy, and passion to the experience. You look forward to going to work every day and being with your team members.

8. Coaches (Leaders) Encourage Team Commitment:

 

Team Sports:

Great teams usually have great coaches who encourage team consciousness and commitment. Nick Saban (Alabama), one of the greatest college football coaches, wrote: “The best TEAM wins, not the best players. Peer pressure is the best enforcer of the rules. The worry of ‘me’ destroys a team.

 

Applied to Business Teams:

Coaching and mentoring individuals is critical to performance. The role of the leader in High Performance Teams goes much further, encouraging all to put the team first. Once teams taste what it means to engage team consciousness, it’s hard to go back. There is not much in life that can equal it.

 

Yes, your business team can emulate the characteristics of winning sports teams, and enjoy high TQ!

 

Douglas Gerber is Founder and CEO of Focus One, a consulting firm that helps leaders create High Performance Teams. After 23 years as a corporate executive, he developed a reputation for building successful teams. Later, as a consultant, he has personally worked with leaders from over 70 companies to develop their own winning Teams. Drawing from his own extensive background and 10 years of research, Douglas innovated the concept of “Team Quotient” (TQ). He is a thought leader in the area of team transformation. Learn more about Douglas and his upcoming book Team Quotient: How to Build High Performance Leadership Teams that Win Every Time on www.douglasgerber.com

 

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