As unit-based teams move through their development, team members' attitudes will evolve as the team matures. Become familiar with the "old" and "new" mindsets and be able to discuss them openly with your colleagues.
In the pairs below, "old" describes the mindset that may get in the way of the team's transformation into a high-performing UBT. "New" is the mindset that will enable team members to transform the way they work together and become a successful unit-based team.
Old: "Self" mentality
I work to maximize the results that I produce as an individual, therefore I place my own interests above my team's interests.
New: "Team" mentality
I prioritize the needs of the team above my own needs and I feel connected to our shared purpose.
Old: Focus on process, minimize risk
I need to make sure that the organization and I are never at risk – so I spend a lot of time following the right process, painstakingly detailing every aspect of the process.
New: Focus on results, manage risks
In each and every interaction, I focus on producing the result needed/making the decisions needed, while managing the level of risk.
To support a team decision, I must feel that it was my first choice and everyone else's first choice, too. We cannot move forward if we do not all unanimously agree.
I am prepared to support a team decision as it if were my own, even if the entire team and I did not unanimously agree.
Old: Control Others
I try to control the process others follow and the results others produce in my interaction with them. I prefer not to address instances where trust is missing and compensate by managing details.
New: Trust Others
I trust the people in the organization and engage in interactions that help me build trust when it is not at the right level.
It is more valuable to spend time analyzing situations than to take action quickly, 'analysis paralysis.' I need permission to progress.
There are always productive actions I can take, even before all of the related questions are fully answered. I am empowered to make things happen.
Old: Can't Do—Permission
This is why it can't work.
New: Can Do—Empowerment
This is how we can make it happen.
Team co-leads and sponsors have an important role to play in guiding teams through this transition. For additional ideas about the characteristics that you can foster to create a high-performing team, download the the UBT Success Factors tool.
For an easy-to-print version of the information on this page, download the Mindsets of Successful UBTs tool.