Connection, Clarity & Capability- building a path to team success

by | May 24, 2022 | All Blogs, Corporate Culture, Engagement, Leadership

Have you had a meeting with a team member and walked away wondering if the message was understood? Perhaps you’ve also been on the receiving end of some feedback from a colleague or leader you didn’t value or appreciate? It may well have been that in each of these situations there were a few crucial ingredients missing that when added for future discussions will help you and your people achieve and smash goals out of the park.

Create an environment which helps build success

I often talk about this notion that your people are your environment. It’s critical in a team setting that as a leader you create and foster the right environment for your people. As Simon Sinek explains, ‘Leaders are not responsible for results, they’re responsible for the people who are responsible for the results’

Within that environment there are a few key elements which I’d say are fundamental to building success. These are:

1. Connection

2. Clarity

3. Capability

These traits move in an almost symbiotic manner with each being dependent on the achievement of the other.



If you’ve had a someone come to you to give you feedback but you’ve not had a connection with them, that feedback may not be well received. It may in fact trigger a ‘fight’ response which isn’t the type of constructive feedback we need to be generating. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind as a way to strengthen connection with your people on a dayt-to-day basis:

1. Communicate frequently

High communication in teams and familiarity of what to expect is important for your people.

2. Go beyond “How are you?”

Find ways to understand more of your teammate’s intrinsic motivations.

3. Help each teammate reach his or her goals

Professional Development reviews along with weekly/monthly Work In Progress (WIP) will support this. Make your WIPs meaningful and remember, its your people’s meeting, not yours. It’s all about them.

4. Recognise & celebrate

Reward and recognise positive behaviour within your people.

5. Keep your commitments

Ensure you set a good example by always being punctual and following through with iniaitives and commitments that you make so your people will trust that you will do what you say you will.

A connection can help individuals receive feedback better.


Neuroscience tells us that our brain has an insatiable need for certainty and clarity. The clearer your people are, the more likely they will succeed. It’s a battle from a leadership perspective to operate in that environment where things change outside your control, but it is still your role as a leader to create clarity.

Clarity is also the foundation for accountability. It’s’ very difficult to hold someone accountable for something if they are not clear on what is being asked of them.

1. The importance of Why

Aim to set the context of why you’re asking/ doing what you’re doing.

2. Clarity of plan

Outline your plan for yourself, explain your plan and then explain it all over again so the message connects.

3. Clarity of responsibility

In outlining a task/ role, don’t assume that people know what their accountabilities are. Be sure to define exactly who is accountable for completing the task/ project.

4. Stay vigilante, and iterate

Keep across the progress periodically and if you need to change course or adapt your plan, it’ll be well received if well communicated.

At this point I would also caution to not get too focussed on clarity. Building structure in the team and an understanding of the task, however it’s also important to allow freedom to move within that structure with a degree of ambiguity.

As explained by Justin Rosentstein of Wavelength, a team that freezes in the face of ambiguity is a team that can’t get very far in navigating uncharted territories. And the more entrepreneurial your team and novel your goals, the more you must value comfort with ambiguity and recruit teammates who possess that comfort naturally.

The more clarity a leader is to their team, the more likely they are to succeed.


Your role as a leader is not only to create space for you to build your own capability but to create an environment where you can build your people’s capability.

1. Collaborate ahead of any final decision

Whilst the final decision may sit with you, periodic check-ins with senior team members will not only maintain their commitment but provide professional development in their own decision making.

2. Engagement through employee betterment

Finding ways to support professional development and taking time to understand an individual’s professional motivation is an important first step

3. Instil a sense of collective ownership

Allowing your team to feel that they will a key part to the projects success can empower the individual and give an improved job satisfaction

The more clarity a leader is to their team, the more likely they are to succeed.

These three key areas work in connection with one another. You’re not going to be able to build capability, provide feedback and coach people if they’re not clear on what they’re supposed to be doing and they don’t feel connected to their leader or their organisation.