How To Build A Better Team
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Teams are an important part of any successful organization, and there are many ways to develop strong teams in your workplace. While some team-building exercises focus more on celebrating with teammates after a hard day’s work, others look at improving how colleagues interact with each other.
By doing so, you can strengthen relationships that may have broken down over time, or perhaps created too much distance between people.
There are several strategies for developing teamwork in groups, but one of our favorites is using stories as a way to connect. A story is a narrative sequence of events that occur within a frame and lead up to a conclusion.
In this case, the event is related to your workplace, and the conclusion is to help other people learn from you and what you know. Your colleagues will be listening intently, so make sure it is something they want to hear!
This article has three parts that cover different types of stories for group development. Part 1 covers why storytelling is such a powerful tool and how to choose which kind you should use.
Part 2 suggests two stories about leadership that can be adapted to apply to almost every level of an office. These tales show how senior leaders built their own legacies by encouraging education and growth among those under them.
And finally, Part 3 outlines a fun new way to tell a success story that can boost employee morale even more.
Make good decisions
The second way to build better teams is by making good team decision-making choices. This includes choosing your teammates, deciding how you want them to contribute, and being aware of what their strengths are so that you can ask them to do things only they can do.
It also means having conversations about issues so that everyone agrees on what needs to be done and people feel like they have an input into the process.
Good team decision-makers will always weigh up pros and cons before coming to a conclusion. They won’t make a choice unless there aren’t at least some benefits to it.
And while sometimes someone might disagree with a decision, they must still respect the other person and agree that this isn’t the best option for now.
If you’re in a situation where no one seems to agree on anything, try asking why people think what they do. Perhaps there's another option people don’t know about? You could look into all the possibilities or just pick the one that feels most likely.
As a leader, you will spend a lot of time talking about things and communicating with people. You will do this at every level of an organization – from the senior leadership down to the staff and team members.
As a manager or executive, you will talk about what projects need done next, how to prioritize these projects, and who in your department can help you achieve that goal.
You will also have conversations with other leaders in your company about their goals and strategies. This is not only important for developing relationships, but also for learning more about how they run their departments and what solutions work for them.
In each case, being able to communicate clearly and effectively is essential to success.
If you are having trouble getting through to someone, try asking some questions to see if the message has penetrated. For example, “What did you think about ________ (topic) today?” or “How could we make ________ better?”
Good listeners are valuable assets to any group. They can easily contribute to solving problems and achieving results by offering alternative perspectives.
Interpersonal skills such as communication, empathy, collaboration, and respect are fundamental to career growth and happiness. So while it may sound cliché, really invest in those skills and pay attention to how others say things so you can improve yourself and teach them something new.
Be a good team member
Being a great teammate is one of the most important things you can do as an employee or manager. Teams that are successful have people who work together well, and individuals who recognize the importance of teamwork.
As a leader, you will spend a lot of time working with different members of your team. This could be in the form of meeting with each person individually, gathering data from them, talking about their roles on the team, and finding ways to motivate them.
It’s also important to keep relationships going beyond the workplace. As a senior leader, there will be times when you can help someone else with something related to their job, or know someone else at a similar level position who can help them out.
When leadership positions open up, you should consider helping others get hired so that they can continue building teams. Not only does this show responsibility and willingness to help others, but it also creates opportunities for advancement since they can say “I helped him/her find her/his next step.
Understand your team members’ strengths and weaknesses
As a manager, you will spend a lot of time working with people, which can be a powerful tool or a painful experience depending on how well you know them.
The way to improve this is by understanding each person's strengths and weaknesses. Your job as a leader is to find out who does not do their best work when they believe it is expected of them and remove that pressure.
This article contains some simple tips to help you identify these weaknesses in other people. The most important thing to remember is that no one else is fully in control of their emotions and performance like someone who has been through a significant life change or loss.
So instead of trying to guess what might hurt their self-confidence, respect their decisions and responses, and avoid putting too much pressure on them.
Encourage your team members
As mentioned before, one of the biggest factors in creating a strong work environment is encouraging your team members. You should always try to put them first by thinking about their needs and offering help and guidance when needed.
This also means being aware of what they are struggling with and trying to solve these problems for them.
It’s easy to get distracted by more urgent tasks, but it's important to remember that things can easily slip through the cracks if there isn’t someone who checks up on them.
As a leader, you need to be sure that everything is running smoothly so make some time this week to do something meaningful for your colleagues.
As a leader, your job is not only to create an environment of trust but also to provide clear direction for people in how they should go about their jobs.
As you know, leadership isn’t something that can be learned from a book or through formal education. You are born with it, and there are some who have just naturally developed it more than others.
But being a good leader doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work, effort, time, and experience. And while hard work is definitely a factor, most successful leaders develop strong relationships which help them achieve success as well.
Leaders build relationships by encouraging interactions with other people and showing interest in what they say. They actively listen to get insights into how things are going and connect on an emotional level so that people feel heard and understood.
Your team members will look up to you and respect you if you treat them like equals. If they perceive you as someone who has a head higher than theirs, then they won’t try as hard.
If a colleague does a great job and gets praise for his/her efforts, he/she will keep doing that same thing because she knows that you’ll recognize and reward her talent. On the other hand, if a colleague never receives recognition or acknowledgement for his/her achievements, he/she will probably do less of those things because he/she doesn’t feel appreciated.
Be a good leader
Being a great team member does not automatically make you a strong leader, but being a good leader is an important part of creating a successful work environment. You can be one of the hardest working people in the room, and yet if nobody listens to your leadership, it will go nowhere.
As a leader, your goal should always be to create an open dialogue where everyone feels heard and acknowledged. When someone makes a suggestion, ask how it fits into the plan or what steps need to be taken next. If there are no answers, then take action as needed!
Your job as a leader is also about setting expectations and keeping them. Make sure that everyone knows who their peers are, and hold them accountable for their jobs. Your colleagues will look up to and trust you when they see that you care about theirs.
At the same time, know who your underlings are and keep conversations professional. Don’t try to get personal insights into their lives unless they invite you to do so.
A lot of people get into leadership positions without knowing what they really want from their life or what they truly value. They put up false fronts, putting on a show for everyone but themselves.
This can be worse than no show at all because they may waste your time trying to motivate them when they don’t know why it matters to them. You will never see true motivation until it is given, so make sure you are not wasting yours on empty promises.
Be clear about what you expect from others and give appropriate feedback, but don’t assume things unless they are told to you. If you have to ask then there might be something holding them back.
If you cannot provide these things to someone else, find another job! It is too important to the success of the organization to risk losing valuable team members due to poor performance or lack of confidence in the staff.
Blog post: Why Is Being A Good Leader Important?
Bullet point: Empowering individuals
By setting high standards and expecting similar levels of quality from yourself, you take responsibility off the individual and promote teamwork and efficiency.