Do you know the qualities of resilient teams?

Do you know the qualities of resilient teams?

The results of a survey to almost 2,000 NCAA coaches (Kirkman, Stoverink, Mistry and Rosen ) was recently circulated. The survey asked for coaches’ perspective on how they build resilient teams and this was then reviewed with the work the authors had done with leaders from a variety of industries to find out how teams become more resilient and why it matters. They discovered that resilient teams have 4 common qualities:

They believe they can effectively complete tasks together. Beyond each individual having confidence in their ability to be successful, team members collectively believe that they can effectively complete tasks.

They share a common mental model of teamwork
All team members must be on the same page about their roles, responsibilities, and the ways they interact with one another during adversity. This is their mental model of teamwork, and it helps them co-ordinate effectively, predict one another’s behaviour, and make decisions collectively on the fly. When team members share an accurate understanding of what needs to be done and how their roles — and the roles of others — fit into the big picture, they are well positioned to respond to adversity effectively, and without hesitation.

They are able to improvise
Teams must be able to improvise and develop new ideas or ways of handling adversity. Improvisation is really about the deliberate process of adjusting to changing circumstances in real time. Resilient teams are intimately familiar with one another’s knowledge, skills, and abilities so that they can draw upon the right expertise at just the right time.

They trust one another and feel safe
Finally, team resilience is enhanced when members share the belief that it is safe to take interpersonal risks in their team, such as offering unusual or creative ideas without fear of being criticised or singled out by fellow team members. This is often referred to as team psychological safety. On resilient teams, members respect one another’s thoughts and trust that they will not be ridiculed or rejected for speaking up. This feeling of safety enables members to openly and honestly voice their ideas and opinions, which leads to a greater diversity of perspectives at a time when such diversity is badly needed.

For more information on how to build mentally strong and resilient teams check out