You’ve probably witnessed how a collaborative group outperforms one that isn’t collaborative.  How a sports team magically wins when they are attuned to every player versus one that is not.  A synergistic team is a group of people whose differences come together in such a way as to create something remarkable together that they could not have done alone. Putting the right people together transcends any talent deficiencies creating joy and winning projects.

What is the difference between a group of people who together to do a job (team) and a group of people who reach synergy?  How can one foresee which group will have the ability to move beyond normal team behavior to one that holds the collaborative trophy of success?

Undoubtedly, there are many decisions that impact the creation of a phenomenal team that executes flawlessly and outperforms other similar groups.  Team members are often brought together because they share interests, have common values, and complementary strengths yet there are five additional factors to consider if you want to form a team whose work will soar toward synergy.

Trust each other

Trust among the team members is the foundation of building a team.  People who trust each other can make mistakes without being ridiculed, they can make changes to each other’s ideas, and they can innovate without worry about being accepted.  They offer themselves and their ideas in a confidently vulnerable way, encouraging each other to freely create.

Understand Productive Conflict

When people trust each other, they accept conflict as a pathway toward generative ideas and productivity.  They aren’t offended when their ideas are changed, switched, or eliminated.  Instead they see this as a stepping stone toward a better solution.

Appreciate Diversity

People with divergent backgrounds offer divergent perspectives.  These differences can add a viewpoint that might be missed if everyone on the team is similar.  Additionally, people whose strengths are not the same will bring insight to the work that will combine in a unique way.  Worldviews can often challenge the status quo causing disruption, opening preconceived ideas.  Openminded team members embrace new, different ideas and often expand upon them.

Exhibit Creativity

All people are creative even if they don’t acknowledge it.  Having open, non-judgmental brainstorming allows team members to play with ideas.  An idea from one person can spark an idea from another. When everyone freely shares and accepts new thoughts, group energy increases and even individuals who never identified as creative contribute.

Ability to Focus

When each member of the team is focused on the same successful end to their challenge they create powerful momentum that is used to co-create an environment where team similarities and differences merge.  They look for opportunities to leverage each other’s talents and strengths knowing that without each other the solution would be very different.   See this amusing example:

Creating a team that will move toward synergy starts by selecting people who can trust each other.  When they trust each other, they can use conflict as a productive tool.  Having a team that is diverse, both in life experiences and strengths will increase the group’s perspective and creativity.  Focusing on the same end-goal means they will co-create an environment moving them toward success and beyond.

If you like what you read here, you might be interested in this cutting edge, validated assessment tool that measures Team Connection, Work Joy, Proactivity, and Confident Vulnerability: C2B Assessment (SEE different to BE different!).

This blog comes from the People Acuity Co-Thought Leader Community and is written by Pamela Enz and DeAnna Murphy.


Pamela Enz is a Strengths Strategy Certified Coach and part of the People Acuity Co-Thought Leader community.  She holds her Master of Organizational Leadership from Bethel University and is an adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota.  Pam is a serial entrepreneur and uses her vast experience to coach emerging entrepreneurs and developing teams bring their work to soaring, synergistic heights.

DeAnna Murphy, a 23-year organizational development veteran, author, and keynote speaker, is also the CEO of People Acuity, an affiliate of Strengths Strategy, which is in 34 countries, and includes over 300 practitioners across the globe. Her first book, Shift Up! Strengths Strategies for Optimal Living is available on Amazon.