There are five components to team effectiveness that create, foster, and empower a team:
- Psychological safety
- Structure and Clarity
These components can be put into practice by establishing a common vocabulary, creating a forum to discuss team dynamics, and making a commitment to reinforcing this behavior with the team.
LaTonja Wright puts these components to work in her role as a staff HR division partner supporting Computing Sciences and IT. She assists her divisions with hiring, compensation, performance management, and diversity, equity, and inclusion questions.
Elements: Have you ever been part of a team that didn’t have one or any of these five components? What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
LaTonja Wright: I have been a part of a few teams where, unfortunately, not all of the five components were consistently fostered. At times it felt as though it was a competition instead of a respectful collaborative team environment that was psychologically safe. Throughout my career, I have been conscientious of the barriers that contributed to this and pride myself on operating from being the change that I hope to see one day.
Elements: In what ways can these five components, combined, benefit our teams in the Lab environment?
LaTonja: I think these five components are great pillars that will be useful in cultivating a cohesive lab environment. Changing the narrative to ‘us’ and ‘we’ versus ‘they’ and ‘them’ will really strengthen our ‘Team Science’ culture.
Elements: What do you think Lab colleagues can do to help their teams investigate or discuss these five components?
LaTonja: In team settings or meetings we can make a point to add at least one of the five components as a ground-rule for our interactions. We have safety minutes as a meeting standard, and we should do the same with the five components by discussing or reviewing one or more of the five components and then incorporating it into the meeting.