Team PerformanceAs a business leader, you want to optimize team performance and build a great functioning team that delivers the results you and your business require.

In an articlePeter Economy, author of The Management Bible and a frequent contributor, offers his advice for building highly-functioning and effective teams.

Give the Team Authority to Make Decisions

Trust the experience and expertise of your team members to make critical decisions on their own.

Your employees know when they’ve been put on a team with little to no authority, and they won’t provide you with their best work or ideas.

The most effective teams are those that are doing important work for their organizations and have been granted the authority to make important decisions.

Delegating responsibilities and decision-making to your team allows you to spend time on strategic planning, business growth, and planning for the future.

Challenge Team Members to Ask “What If?”

Economy encourages business leaders to ask “what if?” questions during staff meetings as a way to develop their strategic thinking skills, and help them prepare for unforeseen circumstances.

Discussing possible scenarios and outcomes from the perspectives of every member on the team can sometimes uncover ideas that otherwise would not have been considered.

He especially recommends asking less-experienced employees for their insights. They can often introduce a fresh perspective.

Work to Resolve Differences

When conflict arises, it is critical for business leaders to address concerns as quickly as possible, to keep the team united and working toward a common purpose.

When decisions prove unpopular, Economy says:

It is vital that such disagreement doesn’t turn into negative feelings that hamper team performance.

He also stresses each team member must take responsibility, and work through the outcomes of all decisions, even if the decision wasn’t their preferred approach.

Managers Should Follow Along

As a business leader and owner, the most important decisions usually fall on your shoulders. Your managers should be given the latitude and authority to make decisions as well.

Push your managers to give responsibility to their employees to work out problems and come up with ideas.

Handing over control can be difficult for some managers, so coach them about the best ways to approach any changes to their day-to-day. Encourage them to be available to help employees working through larger projects, and answer questions that may arise.

Team Performance Equals Consensus

Consensus and compromise are important to the health of any organization, but it can be challenging for some, particularly if it is a new way of doing things.

Coach employees and managers to reach consensus and compromise without your interjections, and they will learn the importance of making compromises that benefit the company.