Learn the 4 Pillars to Team Success that Every Coach can Master
Building a successful team goes far beyond merely having the best “players on paper,” but instead requires developing an optimal team culture that brings out the best in individual team members — even if they aren’t the most naturally talented. In sports we see examples of successful teams all the time, and often it is the chemistry between teammates that collectively leads to maximum team productivity. Delving deeper, there are countless variables that lead to strong team chemistry, but the following pillars are what I consider to be the most important:
- Trust. Developing team trust is a huge cornerstone for team success, and coaches who take a genuine approach to knowing team members individually often develop the strongest relationships as a result. Coaches must get players to trust his/her appraisals, decisions, and methods toward establishing team culture and climate, and similarly team members must feel comfortable with each other in trusting ways.
- Honesty. Coaches need to be honest with players and not get caught up playing favorites, or telling players what they want to hear if it’s not true. Good coaches deliver tough news (i.e. player demotions, cuts) with respect, and provide clear, direct feedback that can be used for future growth.
- Respect. Every team member deserves respect on a basic human level, meaning that players feel valued for their efforts, are treated fairly at all times, and are listened to when they feel they have a contribution to make. When players feel respected they are much more likely to buy-in to the team — even if they are reserves who rarely play in games.
- Openness. Creating a team climate of openness incorporates all of the previous pillars described above, and allows for individual differences in race, religion, sexual orientation, and political views. Coaches who create an open team climate mitigate the risks for the “elephant in the room” syndrome, creating instead an environment for problem solving and personal growth.
The pillars I have identified for team success can work at every sport level, and work quite nicely for work teams, too. For more help please check out the Coach Tool Kit here.