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Unleashing The Potential of Teams

As we eagerly follow the Rugby World Cup in Paris, it’s not just about the thrilling sportsmanship; it’s also a lesson in the incredible power of teams. Some wins have been expected, whereas others have left us pleasantly surprised. What distinguishes these teams isn’t simply the individual talent; it’s the remarkable ability to come together under pressure and achieve extraordinary results. England's incredible journey to the semi-finals, despite setbacks along the way, is a testament to the resilience underpinning great teamwork.

In the business world, high-performing teams are also the ultimate goal. But how do we build them? And what’s the strategy when inheriting a team that’s not living up to its full potential? Leadership plays a vital role in this journey by setting a vision, remaining focused, and keeping the team motivated.

John Adair, the UK’s foremost figure in leadership development, broke this concept into three key areas:

1. Achieving the task

2. Developing the individual

3. Building and maintaining the team

When it comes to rugby, you can see this in action. But in business, many leaders overlook the team dynamic- and that’s where the magic happens. So how do you get diverse individuals to come together and seamlessly collaborate?

Team diversity- understanding potential

It starts with embracing individual differences. People aren’t just diverse in their backgrounds, culture, and ethnicity, but in their personalities too. Everybody contributes uniquely with their strengths, whether you’re the creative mind, the organised one, the brilliant networker, or the go-to problem solver. Understanding each person’s role and how their personality contributes to the team’s interactions is crucial.

Using personality assessments and appreciating each other’s strengths and quirks can be a game-changer, like discovering your team's secret superpower.

Teams undergoing change

When your team gains a new member or someone leaves, things shift. We often overlook this crucial aspect. When this isn’t addressed, we miss out on a pivotal opportunity to revisit the team’s personality dynamics and seamlessly integrate new members or embrace a smaller team.

As people come and go, the mix of talent changes. This, and how it affects the team, should be looked at closely. Likewise, when you lose someone the balance changes, and here is an opportunity to re-address the team dynamic.

Teams coping with pressure

Teams can excel on a day-to-day basis, but sometimes they crumble under the pressure. Like what we’ve seen in the rugby, even the best teams falter at times. However, by understanding the individual and team personality derailers, you can address these issues early- before it’s too late.

For example, some teams become overly cautious during periods of uncertainty. By recognising and addressing these unhelpful behaviours and leaning into a more positive and confident approach, teams can more seamlessly navigate their way through stressful situations.

Leveraging strengths during stressful times is essential: research shows that the highest performing teams have an appreciation to criticism ratio of 6:1. The best thing you can therefore do for your team is highlight each other’s strengths, not weaknesses. England's remarkable resilience in the face of adversity exemplifies the power of focusing on strengths and just how far this can get you.

Evaluating the team

You can develop objective perspectives of the team by using 360 feedback; this supports individual development and also measures how your team is functioning both inside and out. Reviewing these reports helps with identifying both strengths and areas for growth.

360 reports provide a data-driven approach to enhance team dynamics. Team development plans can be a game-changer in boosting overall performance. England's inspiring performance in this year's World Cup took them all the way through to the semi-finals. This demonstrates just how much teams can excel with hard work and a strong strategic process.

So, if you’re curious about how your team can tap into its full potential then reach out to us. At GFB we’re experts in people measurement and can assist you in unleashing your team’s power. Feel free to get in touch at +44 (0) 333 090 2580 or drop us an email at

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