spain-champions_2264378bA lot of psychologists have written about how to build a mentally strong “dream” team and yet most of them don’t have a clue as to what really goes on in the workplace. Case in point: A psychologist wrote an article in Forbes titled “How to build a mentally strong dream team,” which offered vague and unhelpful solutions. The author did get one part correct. She said that mentally strong team members cooperate, build on each other’s strengths and openly learn from their mistakes. When you have a mentally strong team, your organization will thrive. When you don’t, however, your performers will struggle to reach their full potential due to issues of resentment, fear and entitlement. These problems can lead to reduced communication and productivity. Where the author fell short was in her solutions. Her basic remedies were don’t do that, don’t engage in bad habits, don’t complain, don’t speak out of turn, etc. So, how do you actually build a mentally strong team? Let me emphasize this by saying, I’m not just another psychologist who doesn’t know what’s going on in the workplace. My suggestions are based on my own experience, from actually having worked in office settings. Many times, we have built mentally strong teams successfully and in widely diverse environments. In addition, our results have never wavered, they are always consistent. First, guide your team to build a compelling, collective purpose. This creates an environment where everyone is aware that they are working toward the same meaningful goal. Second, create a clear path to mastery and see to it that everyone consciously strives to develop the skills needed to be successful. This process will ensure that everyone is actually good at their jobs, which instills confidence, resulting in increased productivity. There is nothing like having the collective skills and working toward a meaningful end to get people to express themselves openly, respond to barriers and pressures with grace and help each other to be successful. If you create the underlying capability to be strong, there is no need to talk about it or conduct an analysis. Your team will be mentally strong. Do you have a mentally strong team? Would you like one?  ]]>

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