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  • Kick Ass Zombie Hunter

Checking Your Team Vitals

Multiple hands forming the shape of hearts.

Do you even know if your team has healthy vitals? If you don’t have a healthy team, you don’t have healthy individuals and you won’t be able to do great things together.

Talk to your people. Find out what they are thinking, feeling and how they see themselves contributing to the larger picture. Because if they don’t see that contribution, we need to spend time on improving the vitals before growing or moving onto another project.

Louise Bernstein, Director of Product at Hubspot believes that team vitals should come before teamwork. A kick ass team doesn’t rely on one or two people, it requires a group of people who build a culture of psychological safety, who see the value and connection of communicating with others and who see that collaboration is more effective than working in silos. We shouldn’t be loading up the break rooms with food and games unless we (and our teams) understand how they contribute to the bigger picture.

You can have the brightest team members out there, but skills alone won’t influence good relationships. Think of a brick wall. You need the bricks (the skills) but it’s not the bricks that make the wall strong. It’s the mortar (the relationships, the psychological safety, the connection) that make the wall strong and unbreakable.

The role of a leader is to foster a culture of collaboration. Where teams feel comfortable expressing their feelings, opinions, concerns, they can make mistakes without being reprimanded. The culture you foster will determine the level of willingness and readiness your team has to collaborate with each other.

A healthy team begins with a healthy leader. If you want your team to demonstrate collaboration, trust, respect, equality, ask yourself, do you demonstrate those things?

Because a healthy team is maintained by each person through their words and actions. Ever tossed out a bad word in front of a young child? Say it once, they may not repeat. Say it more than once, and it won’t be long until they’re demonstrating the same thing.

So how do you check your team vitals? Ask them questions like:

  • How do you feel you contribute to the bigger picture?

  • How well do you feel the team is working together?

  • How do you feel about your current workload and the speed of work?

  • Do you feel you have the necessary tools, skills and resources to do your current work?

A great way to come up with your team vital questions, is to get feedback from your team directly. Ask them to brainstorm how will we know when our team is healthy and unhealthy. Agree upon questions and as a leader, you will set your schedule to check your team vitals regularly.


A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Are you demonstrating the actions and behaviours you expect from your team?

  2. How do you contribute to the success of our mission and to the success of each other?

  3. What can we do to improve our team vitals?


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