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Does your team feel like they belong?

Does your team feel like they belong?

I’ve been thinking about this concept of belonging a lot recently.

We have all experienced that feeling where we feel like we truly belong, that sense of community that we are a part of.

Conversely, there are other instances whether that is at work, with friends or family where we have felt on the outer, we feel left out, rejected or not included and this leads us to feel like we don’t belong. When this happens it causes us to question what we thought we knew to be true and it makes us question relationships, plants seeds of doubt and can cause worry and anxiousness. It also causes a lot of inefficiencies and waste.

High performing team theory tells us that psychological safety is central and that a sense of belonging to a team is what drives and motivates people.

So how can we create this sense of belonging with our teams and make them high performing teams?

Does your team feel like they belong?

6 steps on how to create psychological safety and a sense of belonging with your team:

  • Determine what your team purpose is together as a team, so individuals can contribute and also understand how their values align.

  • Get to know your team on a personal level, what drives them, their strengths, what motivates them and what frustrates them.

  • Be open to each other’s perspectives. Diversity of thought should be respected. Come from a place of curiosity. Ask questions and seek to understand rather than assume you have all the answers.

  • Approach any difficult conversation as a partner or collaborator. This shows that you are working together and have the intent to reach an outcome that is a win-win for all.

  • Show respect and treat people as an individual. We have all been taught to ‘be professional’ but what often happens is we end up being less human as result.

  • Ask your team how safe they feel and seek feedback to improve.

Reflect on whether there are behaviours you are demonstrating which are making team members feel excluded.

In what ways are you creating an environment of belonging with your team so that you too can have a high performing team?

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