How to run a team dynamics workshop to supercharge your team

three colleagues on a tandem bike working together to show elements of high performance team dynamics

No two teams are exactly alike — each has its own unique 'fingerprint', shaped by the distinct traits and personalities of its members. In a modern world where remote work has become the norm, these dynamics aren't necessarily easy to see. However, they're always there under the surface, steering how teams communicate, collaborate, and work towards common goals.

While there's no universal consensus on what successful team dynamics look like, there are a few common elements that contribute to it. By leveraging the data inside Fingerprint for Success' team collaboration and performance platform, team leaders can identify and optimize these dynamics.

In this article, we delve into how you can use F4S to run effective team-dynamic workshops, and build a high-performance culture.

Table of contents
The challenge of team dynamics
4 essentials for high-performance team dynamics

The challenge of team dynamics

With 42% of organizations working remotely or hybrid post-pandemic¹, this creates new challenges for developing team dynamics. Even the most productive teams can encounter issues when attempting to work and communicate virtually. Projects can veer off track, and constructive criticism can easily get lost in translation, especially if there's not already sufficient rapport in place.

Another factor that can sabotage team dynamics is turbulent economic conditions. In light of budget cuts and poor staff retention, there can be an attitude of 'just get on with it and do the job’. Taking the time to develop positive team dynamics can seem futile when you've got one person doing the work of three. As well as ensuring your team is properly resourced, it's important to ensure employees have effective communication skills to navigate these leaner times.

It's not all bad news, though. A study conducted at Microsoft found that post-COVID, remote work has led to a decrease in cross-functional team communication, but to an increase in connectedness within one's own group – so, tighter-knit, small teams². It also showed that remote work led to a significant increase in unscheduled calls, emails, and instant messages, but less time spent in meetings overall. This indicates that when managed appropriately, virtual teams can actually be highly productive.

And, just like individual skills, team dynamics can be improved with the right approach. Whether you work virtually or in person, you can build a well-functioning team that can easily withstand the challenges of the current market.

4 essentials for high-performance team dynamics

So, what separates successful and poor team dynamics? This partly depends on your team composition, and the objectives of your department and organization. For example, in a commission-based sales environment, a friendly sense of competition may be beneficial, whereas, this might not be the case in a not-for-profit.

However, there are some clear patterns that contribute to strong team dynamics and effective teamwork. At Fingerprint for Success, we have spent more than 20 years researching the traits these high-performing teams have in common, and use these findings to help supercharge your team.

Below, find the key elements to focus on in your workshop, including plenty of examples of team dynamics to help provide context. If you’re a team leader, you'll also find handy tips and tricks for running an engaging workshop that goes beyond typical team-building activities.

Before you start: workshop preparation

  • Prep: Before you schedule your team dynamics workshop, ask them to take the F4S assessment. Once everyone has completed it, set up a group for your team — this will allow you to see motivations and traits across your entire team.
F4S team dashboard shows individual and team dynamics
F4S team dashboard
  • Gather your materials: You might choose to print out the F4S workshop playbook to have ready on the day, as well as having access to the platform on your laptop or tablet.
  • Set everyone’s culture to the same setting in Profile settings: To establish a baseline for your high-performing team, choose the culture where the business is based. Or, if you have multiple locations, choose the location of the head office.

Psychological safety

In order to run an effective team dynamics workshop, it's important that everyone feels safe and willing to share their perspective and opinion. This is psychological safety in action — the belief that you will not be punished or humiliated by speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.

Studies show that a lack of psychological safety in the workplace can have a significant negative impact on employee wellbeing (including stress and burnout), employee performance, and retention³. This fear of punishment can stifle innovation and creativity if employees are unwilling to bring out-of-the-box ideas to the table⁴.

Poor psychological safety can also hinder team performance⁵. It may result in some members feeling they must 'walk on eggshells' to avoid negative consequences, which can lead to significant distress. It can also contribute to 'groupthink', where individuals reach a consensus decision to avoid disrupting team norms, rather than exploring more unconventional solutions.

It's important to establish a sense of trust upfront before your workshop. Fingerprint for Success helps facilitate this process by leveraging powerful data to highlight everyone's diverse strengths. By identifying and embracing each team member’s communication and work style, everyone can feel empowered to bring their authentic self to work.

Workshop tip: set the stage

  • Explain F4S' motivational traits up front: This allows team members to understand team dynamics in context. For example, one's action level is not an indicator of laziness (or lack thereof). It's simply reflective of whether they are fast idea initiators or more analytical types who like to review the facts before starting. Or, when it comes to the environment, some work best independently, while others like to be in a group setting. Read about the 48 work style traits.
  • Emphasize that there's no such thing as a bad result: All dynamics are helpful in certain settings. Explain that 50 is the norm for the working culture you have selected,100 and above is very high, 0-50 is low and below 0 is very low.

Well-defined team goals and organizational vision

In order to build an efficient and motivated team, it's crucial that everyone understands what they are working towards — and is headed for the same shared goals.

Research shows that strong organizational alignment is an important differentiator between low- and high-performing companies⁶. On average, highly aligned organizations grow revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable than those that are not well-aligned.

When it comes to setting effective goals, it's wise to take a top-down approach. This means defining the vision behind your wider organization. What is the mission or purpose of the company? What objectives or milestones have they set for the quarter or year ahead?  As a team, try to define this vision in one or two sentences.

Once you're clear on the big picture, this can trickle down to your team goals. What do you want to achieve as a team in the near future, and what mix of skills will you need to achieve that?

For example, perhaps the vision of your organization is to achieve rapid growth and disrupt your industry. In order to achieve this, your team would likely need to be nimble and embrace an experimentation culture. If various members of your team have been identified as having a status quo bias (a preference for keeping things the same), you might work towards aligning on a more pioneering mindset.

This shared sense of ownership toward a common objective will help foster an aligned and highly motivated team.

Workshop tip: set effective goals

  • Establish individuals’ goals: Ask each member of the team what they are hoping to get out of the session. This coaching question can help guide you through this process: how would you know that this session was a valuable investment of your time?
  • Celebrate the wins: Identify the ways in which the team already works well together. This will help to kickstart the workshop on a positive note.
  • Identify team challenges: Encourage each team member to share their biggest sources of friction and frustration in their daily work life (without naming names).
  • Take notes: Make sure to write down the exact words the team members use. This will come in handy later in the debrief.

Self-awareness: why it’s important for strong team dynamics

It's impossible to work on team dynamics if you're not aware of them. Even the most emotionally intelligent members of your team have blind spots, which can lead to negative conflict, if left unchecked.

For example, you might have a team leader with an unconscious preference for those with more extroverted communication styles. This can mean that creative solutions from quieter, more introverted members go ignored.

Research shows that diverse perspectives lead to better problem-solving⁷. So, in order to drive team performance and foster successful collaboration, it's important to bring these dynamics to the surface.

Fingerprint for Success uses cognitive and behavioral data to establish a new level of self-awareness within your team. By highlighting both individual and shared patterns, you can optimize team dynamics for performance and harmony. You can use the F4S platform to shed light on the following areas:

Team culture

Culture can be tricky to measure, and even trickier to define. Fingerprint for Success makes the abstract tangible by providing data on the overall feel of your team. The Team Culture report can also highlight shared motivations among your team. For example, perhaps your team is united by a sense of integrity, which you can use to effectively work towards common goals.

team culture example of a team that enjoys working with money, budgets, profit and loss.
F4S team culture

Team communications preferences

Do your team members like to receive team updates in person, or do they prefer written communication? How sensitive are they to affective communication — the things people say implicitly through tone of voice and gestures? F4S provides powerful insights into these areas as well as the individual personalities of your team members, so you can achieve more effective and streamlined communication.

Accelerate understanding between teams

Breadth

An illustration of a woman holding a circle object on her hand.

Motivated by macro big picture thinking, these teammates value moving quickly to connect dots between abstract ideas to 'get the gist' of things.

Chart showing rage from Average, High and Ver High.

vs

Depth

An illustration of a woman holding and using a protractor on her right hand.

These teammates value being concrete and specific, getting into details to understand the steps or tasks required.

Chart showing rage from Average, High and Ver High.

See the different work styles in your team

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Team affinities

These are the attitudes that generate energy and enjoyment among team members who share them. For example, you might find that many team members have a strong sense of ownership over their work which, when harnessed effectively, can create a harmonious flow.

this team has an affinity for consistency and stability
F4S team affinity

Team differences

It's important to celebrate differences in your team — after all, variety is the spice of life! However, significant gaps in work or communication styles can create friction in the workplace. F4S' Power of Difference report allows you to identify and plan for these disparities, before they become a problem.

this team has different ways of interacting with authority due to their internal vs external reference
F4S team differences

Team blind spots

As mentioned, everyone has unhelpful traits that they are unaware of. F4S helps to identify these individual blind spots, and recommends personalized coaching programs to develop more effective skills. Not only can this help team members achieve individual goals, but it can build a more positive team atmosphere.

Team cognitive diversity

High-performing teams tend to have a strong mix of complementary skills. They usually include people from varied walks of life (for example, diversity in age, gender, and ethnicity), who can bring different perspectives to the table. If you find that you have a low level of cognitive diversity in your teams, it might be time to integrate F4S' talent acquisition tools into your hiring practices.

Workshop tip: dive into the data

It's time to explore the F4S platform. Click the group you have prepared, and go to the 'overview'. We recommend working through the insights in this order:

  • Scroll to Team Culture and explain that it's the 'vibe and feel' of your team. Share the first motivation in team culture, then share the team average, and then click on the bubble to narrate what that motivation means. For example, you might find that your team is highly motivated by 'achievement', with a score of 140. If you click the bubble, you'll learn this means that they value recognition and being rewarded for what they have accomplished.
  • Next, head to Team Blind Spots, and explain that these are traits outside of our awareness that can hold us back. Note that this is only relevant if you are looking to benchmark the team against any of the success factors inside the F4S Platform – for example, entrepreneurs. Feel free to ignore this section if it's not relevant for your team.
  • In the next tab, you'll find Team Affinities — the common ground that brings your team together. Consider how you can double down on these shared traits to build strong bonds within your team. For example, if your team has a strong affinity for belongingness, you might discuss how you can integrate more in-person interaction into your workflow.
  • Finally, navigate to Team Power of Differences, explaining that these are the diverse skill sets and perspectives that make up your team. Discuss how these can be a strength or a source of friction, depending on how they are leveraged. For example, say your team is split between evidence-based decision-makers and intuitive decision-makers. You might consider how you can use this to your advantage by balancing both emotions and logic to make better decisions.

Continuous team learning

Your team dynamics workshop shouldn't be a 'one and done' effort. It's important to foster a culture of continuous learning and ongoing employee development within your organization — that is, intentionally building skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis. With research showing that 94% of people stay longer at organizations that offer relevant development opportunities, doing so is a great way to increase employee satisfaction and retention⁸. Developing a two-way feedback loop can also help foster mutual respect and build cohesive teams in the long-term.

Fingerprint for Success will be your most valuable tool for creating this strong feedback culture. Based on the potential areas of improvement that arise from your workshop, F4S can tailor coaching pathways for each of your team members. For example, if there are certain employees that fall significantly outside of team norms when it comes to thoroughness and accuracy, they may be recommended the Attention to Detail coaching program.

Meanwhile, others might benefit more from the Reflection & Patience programs, if these are areas they struggle with.

These bite-sized coaching sessions are delivered by our highly effective AI coach Marlee, whenever and wherever is convenient for your employees.

coaching programs from F4S
F4S personalized coaching queue

Thanks to our supercharged dashboard and regular insights reports, organizational leaders get full transparency over both individual and team data. This means you can track your team's progress towards high-performance dynamics over time — and reward them as they grow.

Workshop tip: debrief

  • Conclude the workshop by asking: What have we become aware of? Using the top takeaways, set an action plan to move closer to the goals you set at the start of the workshop. For example, you might designate an F4S coaching program for each team member.
  • Follow up after four weeks: Ask 'What has improved?' Practice active listening, and make sure to celebrate the wins in order to reinforce further learning. Also consider which areas could still be improved.
  • Ensure that each team member has access to their F4S dashboard: Encourage them to check in with it regularly, so they can track their own progress.

Unlock high-performance team dynamics with F4S

All teams — no matter how similar or different; centralized or disparate — have the potential for greatness. By understanding the key dynamics of high-performance teams, you can run effective workshops that get the best out of everybody. Take the free F4S assessment to get your team set up for success today.

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  1. WFH Map. Available at WFH Map. https://wfhmap.com/
  2. Yang, L; Hotz, D; Jaffe, S; Suri, S; Weston, J; Joyce, C; Shah, N. P; Sherman, K; Hecht, B; Teevan, J. (2021) ‘The effects of remote work on collaboration among information workers’. Available at Microsoft Research.https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/the-effects-of-remote-work-on-collaboration-among-information-workers/
  3. Gallo, A. (2023) ‘ ‘What Is Psychological Safety?’ Available at Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2023/02/what-is-psychological-safety
  4. Kerrissey, M; Haylirli, T. C; Aditi, B; Stark, N; Hardy, J; Peabody, C. R.. (2022) ‘How psychological safety and feeling heard relate to burnout and adaptation amid uncertainty’. Available at Healthcare Management Review.https://journals.lww.com/hcmrjournal/Fulltext/2022/10000/How_psychological_safety_and_feeling_heard_relate.6.aspx
  5. Evans, M. (2022) ‘Psychological Safety: Building High-Performing Teams’. Available at Forbes Business Council. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/10/12/psychological-safety-building-high-performing-teams/?sh=79bc9eab4d17
  6. LSA 3X Organizational Alignment Model. Available at LSA Global.https://lsaglobal.com/insights/proprietary-methodology/lsa-3x-organizational-alignment-model/
  7. Phillips, K. W. (2014) ‘How Diversity Makes Us Smarter’. Available atScientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-makes-us-smarter
  8. (2018). 2018 Workplace Learning Report. Available at LinkedIn Learning.https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/linkedin-learning-workplace-learning-report-2018.pdf

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