The Ingredients of a Thriving Team
July 19, 2014 by VIA Institute on Character ·
Creating a cohesive, connected work team is sometimes like baking a delicious cake. When you are baking, each of the individual ingredients has its own unique flavors and properties that are needed, in the right measurements, to achieve the proper consistency and taste in the final product. The same is true for a successful team. Each group member has a certain set of character strengths that give them a unique “flavor”; and utilizing these characteristics, in the right context and to the right degree, will create the most productive and engaged team.
So, what’s the best recipe?
The first step is determining the individual character strengths of the team members. Each group member can complete the free VIA Survey to discover their unique set of strengths. These are the individual’s core values—their natural and developed tendencies for approaching life. For instance, do you approach life with curiosity, zest, fairness, or prudence? How does your colleague approach life? It might look very different or surprisingly similar. Just simply realizing that these differences and/ or parallels exist might be an enlightening experience for the group in and of itself!
The next phase is reflecting and exploring on the meaning and relevance of your strengths and the strengths of your co-workers in relation to how you work together. The VIA Team Report can be a helpful tool during this review and discovery period. The report combines all of the individual survey results into one, comprehensive overview of the team’s strengths. Every individual on the team wants the opportunity to express themselves and feel valued for what they can contribute. This report can help individuals come to realize if their best qualities are being conveyed and utilized within their work team.
The strengths exploration process will enable all of the team members to begin understanding themselves and each other on deeper, more authentic level. This is because character strengths allow us to connect with one another around what is best in one another. Individuals flourish when they can express their top strengths and when those strengths are valued and appreciated by others. And flourishing individuals, those that feel engaged and understood, are the perfect ingredients for creating the most productive and successful teams.