How To Build Team Work
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Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of talk about teamwork. People are preaching about the importance of team work and how crucial it is in our daily lives. Teams have become the new normal – we are surrounded by teams all the time with everything from going shopping to doing our jobs requiring us to collaborate and work together as a group.
In fact, a large part of what makes someone successful these days is their leadership skills which include being able to motivate others, create trust, and lead people towards common goals.
While having good leadership qualities is important, what seems to be missing for many individuals is the skill of building strong groups of colleagues.
Teamwork can feel like a moving target. You find yourself spending your time trying to get everyone aligned on a goal or project, only to have them break down over minor things that don’t matter much. This creates more stress than anything else, and doesn’t allow for true collaboration.
Finding ways to build team cohesion and solidarity is one of the most powerful tools you can use to improve not just your career, but also your personal life. These strategies will help you develop relationships that go beyond “we are working together” and instead create an environment where people want to spend time, share ideas, and come together to accomplish something.
This article will discuss some easy ways to strengthen team bonds in the workplace.
Make everything clear
A lot of times, it can seem like there’s just not enough time in the day for people to do their own thing. Whether it is because someone else has been doing something really well or they are holding you back, things come down to what each person feels able to prioritize.
As a leader, make sure that everyone knows how to get the job done!
Make every employee feel like they have access to all the resources and information needed to complete their tasks. This includes giving them adequate permission to be self-sufficient, knowing who they should talk to about things, and being aware of whether they are performing their jobs properly.
It also means making sure that anyone outside of work – family, friends, etc.–are informed of why you cannot meet during working hours, if and when they will see you again, and how to contact you at any given moment.
This way, no one feels left out or confused as to what is happening around them, and individuals know what to expect from you.
Make sure your team knows each other
As mentioned before, one of the biggest hindrances in effective teamwork is lack of knowledge about who everyone is outside of work. This can be tricky when you’re trying to organize an event with people that you have never met before.
It is very important to make time during the initial meeting to get to know at least some basics about every person so that you can begin building trust. You could use this time for things like talking about their hobbies or asking if anyone has family members close by so that you can meet them later.
At the next event, you can invite only those people who you have received permission from earlier- these can be done via phone, chat, or email.
As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest factors in building team work is effective communication. People are often so focused on getting their own tasks done that they forget about the bigger picture.
If you notice someone isn’t doing their part of an assignment, try talking to them to see if they’re okay and whether there’s something more that can be done.
You could ask if they need help with anything else or ask if they would like you to take over the project for them.
By being aware of what others are working on, you will not only keep people motivated, but also help them feel valued and appreciated.
Teamwork takes time to develop and grow, which is another reason why having good communication is so important.
It will bring out the best in everyone involved and keep things running smoothly.
Accept each other as you are
As mentioned before, being able to accept people for who they are is a major factor in building team work. This can be tricky at times, but there are several strategies you can use to teach yourself to accept others more easily.
The first step towards this is realizing that not everyone will agree with you on everything. This is totally normal!
Next, try to look past what things you don’t like about someone and focus on the parts of them that you do like. I know it may feel difficult to do so, but trying to find the good qualities in someone is a great way to strengthen your bond with them.
Last, remember that even if something makes you uncomfortable, you need to let go of that feeling and move on. You cannot control how people behave or think outside of you, so instead of investing energy into that, invest that energy in creating positive experiences for yourself.
This will make it easier to create new positive experiences with other people.
Be a good listener
A lot of people think that being a leader means talking all the time, but leading is only successful when you listen more than you talk. You have to pay attention to what others are saying, understand their points, and respond in a way that confirms they are correct!
As a leader, your job is not just to tell people how to feel or motivate them, it’s to help them accomplish their goals by listening to them and understanding their roles in the organization.
It can be difficult to do this when there is a lot of chatter going on around you, but you must. If you don’t, then someone else will take over this responsibility.
Good leaders establish relationships with those under them so that they know who they should go to for advice and input, and they make sure these individuals always get the respect they deserve. This creates an environment where everyone feels comfortable giving their honest opinions and sharing information.
When something needs to be done, you will find out who wants to do it and why before deciding if it is necessary to push through with it. By having open conversations, you’ll learn what needed doing and why it was important to keep moving forward.
If you aren’t able to do this, then at least try to identify which people seem to enjoy speaking about things and see if you can get some tips from them on how to be a better listener.
Ask your team to tell you about themselves
As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest causes of conflict is not knowing who your colleagues are or what their strengths and weaknesses are. If you’re in a meeting and someone else brings up a topic that you have strong feelings about, chances are you’ll get distracted and talk over them instead of listening to what they had to say.
By having open conversations with members of your team, this will stop happening. You’ll learn more about each other, which helps build trust and collaboration.
Asking questions such as “What is my job?” and “How do you feel about that task/project?” can be helpful for gathering information, but there’s an even better way to do it.
Ask your team to tell you about themselves. Have everyone put together short introductions – no longer than two sentences- telling you something about themselves. Then ask different questions depending on how well people are getting along.
The best tip I have is don’t focus too much on finding out who is important at work, rather find out why people are doing their jobs.
Make time for team members
As mentioned before, one of the biggest causes of conflict is not having enough communication channels. If you are constantly messaging each other but never really have in person conversations, it can sometimes feel like there’s no way to talk things through or figure out what everyone wants.
This can be especially true if someone needs something from you and they don’t see you when you’re available.
By making time for your colleagues, even if it’s just for five minutes every week, they will appreciate that you took time out of your schedule to speak with them.
It also shows that you value their work and want to keep working together, which helps promote trust.
If a colleague is too busy to meet up at the moment, ask whether they would prefer an email instead so they can respond later. This gives them more flexibility and allows them to coordinate their workload, which is always a good thing.
Make sure to hold meetings outside of office hours as well as possible, perhaps once a month during business hours and once a week after work. Even a few minutes twice per day makes a big difference.
In addition to giving people notice, this also avoids any unnecessary distractions for them.
Do not micromanage
As mentioned before, one of the biggest causes of conflict is when someone in your team does not have enough autonomy. When this happens, people on that team feel they do not have freedom to make decisions without being checked out or told what to do next.
This can be very frustrating for them because they want to take action, but are never allowed to. They may even feel pressured into taking actions that are not good for their own personal growth or career development.
As a leader, you must understand that giving your employees space means letting them fail. It means trusting that they will pick up the pieces and keep trying until they get it right!
It also takes time to develop and lead others. No one becomes a great manager overnight, so give yourself some grace and don’t expect perfection immediately.
If there are ever issues with an employee, address them directly and professionally at first. Avoid getting too emotional unless you want to create more tension in the workplace.
Once the issue has been addressed, if necessary, move onto the next level by having a conversation about how to better facilitate trust and teamwork.