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How to build effective teams

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how to build effective teams

The best way to understand others is by doing the following:

  • Champion – someone who enjoys promoting ideas, rallying the group, and driving change.
  • Creator – someone who enjoys generating ideas, designing solutions, and tackling creative challenges.
  • Implementer – someone who is adept at taking charge of the daily work activities and administrative tasks.
  • Facilitator – someone who does well managing relationships, both within the team and externally; they are the glue that holds everything together.

If your employees trust your judgement, they will work effectively even when you’re not around. Before you can start team building, you need to develop the right kind of leadership skills. This doesn’t mean asserting authority, instead try to foster trust through honesty and transparency. Especially in larger organizations, managers can’t be everywhere at once, but if your employees trust your judgements they will work effectively even when you’re not around.
Without team building skills, a manager risks limiting the productivity of their employees to what each member can do on their own, whereas if you foster team building you can unite your team around a common goal, which will raise productivity as a result.

A great team is the one whose work is based on clear objectives, clear roles, clear communication, cooperation, and opportunities for personal development. Remember that recipe and you’ll be on the right way towards building an effective team.
In addition to serving as a good example, you should encourage trust and cooperation among the employees, too. Pay close attention to the way the team works together and take specific steps to improve the level of trust and cooperation.

To ensure that each member understands what is expected of them, define a standard of conduct for the team. Will communication be frequent, open, honest and transparent? Will contributions be encouraged, valued and recognised? Will conflict be handled in a constructive way? Will team decisions and feedback be respected? Setting clear standards from the outset will ensure that each member’s conduct and contributions are appropriate.
High performance teams are comprised of individuals that passionately embrace the vision, believe their contribution is meaningful and are motivated to give their best effort. All team members should trust, respect and support each other. Select members with complementary skills and abilities, who can bring a diverse range of viewpoints and ideas to the table. Achieving a good balance of personality types will enable the group to work together harmoniously but also challenge each other when necessary.

As CEO, you need to realize that each team member plays a role in your company and each individual is part of the whole. If you want to work effectively your team must be harmonious. Here’s how:
The key is to create a powerful team that works effectively even when the boss is not available. A startup team is like a basketball team — you will not win if you do not play together.

Another critical factor in team success is effective communication. Emphasize the communication techniques that will help you build teamwork and camaraderie with your coworkers.
Have you ever wondered why some teams are effective and others are dysfunctional for the life of the team? The effective teams have figured out the essentials of interpersonal communication dynamics and relationships.

“You say something seven times and they haven’t heard you,” he said. “Until they start making jokes about how often you repeat it, they haven’t internalized it.”
It means you should never make statements that include assumptions about the motivations behind someone’s behavior. Instead, you should stay on your side of the net and talk only about what you’re observing and your own reactions and feelings. That way, it’s harder for people to get their back up because you’re not devising rationales to explain someone else’s behavior.

While ideally you start working with the model as soon as a new team forms, it can prove just as helpful with already established teams that haven’t managed to move past the first two stages on their own. The nonlinearity of group development means that all stages will be experienced sooner or later. It’s never too late to start the conversation and start focusing on the key areas to aid your team on its journey towards high-performance.
4. Leadership
As mentioned earlier, different stages of a group’s or team’s development require a different type of leadership. While the first two stages require a more dominant leader, stage three and four function better if the leader gives members more independence.
As the previous point illustrates, a leader also needs to be aware of how team members depend or not depend on a respective leadership style and its tactics.

The first rule of team building is an obvious one: to lead a team effectively, you must first establish your leadership with each team member. Remember that the most effective team leaders build their relationships of trust and loyalty, rather than fear or the power of their positions.

  • Consider each employee’s ideas as valuable. Remember that there is no such thing as a stupid idea.
  • Be aware of employees’ unspoken feelings. Set an example to team members by being open with employees and sensitive to their moods and feelings.
  • Act as a harmonizing influence. Look for chances to mediate and resolve minor disputes; point continually toward the team’s higher goals.
  • Be clear when communicating. Be careful to clarify directives.
  • Encourage trust and cooperation among employees on your team. Remember that the relationships team members establish among themselves are every bit as important as those you establish with them. As the team begins to take shape, pay close attention to the ways in which team members work together and take steps to improve communication, cooperation, trust, and respect in those relationships.
  • Encourage team members to share information. Emphasize the importance of each team member’s contribution and demonstrate how all of their jobs operate together to move the entire team closer to its goal.
  • Delegate problem-solving tasks to the team. Let the team work on creative solutions together.
  • Facilitate communication. Remember that communication is the single most important factor in successful teamwork. Facilitating communication does not mean holding meetings all the time. Instead it means setting an example by remaining open to suggestions and concerns, by asking questions and offering help, and by doing everything you can to avoid confusion in your own communication.
  • Establish team values and goals; evaluate team performance. Be sure to talk with members about the progress they are making toward established goals so that employees get a sense both of their success and of the challenges that lie ahead. Address teamwork in performance standards. Discuss with your team:
    • What do we really care about in performing our job?
    • What does the word success mean to this team?
    • What actions can we take to live up to our stated values?
  • Make sure that you have a clear idea of what you need to accomplish; that you know what your standards for success are going to be; that you have established clear time frames; and that team members understand their responsibilities.
  • Use consensus. Set objectives, solve problems, and plan for action. While it takes much longer to establish consensus, this method ultimately provides better decisions and greater productivity because it secures every employee’s commitment to all phases of the work.
  • Set ground rules for the team. These are the norms that you and the team establish to ensure efficiency and success. They can be simple directives (Team members are to be punctual for meetings) or general guidelines (Every team member has the right to offer ideas and suggestions), but you should make sure that the team creates these ground rules by consensus and commits to them, both as a group and as individuals.
  • Establish a method for arriving at a consensus. You may want to conduct open debate about the pros and cons of proposals, or establish research committees to investigate issues and deliver reports.
  • Encourage listening and brainstorming. As supervisor, your first priority in creating consensus is to stimulate debate. Remember that employees are often afraid to disagree with one another and that this fear can lead your team to make mediocre decisions. When you encourage debate you inspire creativity and that’s how you’ll spur your team on to better results.
  • Establish the parameters of consensus-building sessions. Be sensitive to the frustration that can mount when the team is not achieving consensus. At the outset of your meeting, establish time limits, and work with the team to achieve consensus within those parameters. Watch out for false consensus; if an agreement is struck too quickly, be careful to probe individual team members to discover their real feelings about the proposed solution.

Resources:

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_7132406
http://talkingtalent.prosky.co/articles/7-tips-on-how-to-build-effective-teams
http://www.michaelpage.ae/advice/management-advice/development-and-retention/building-effective-team
http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/06/07/five-ways-to-build-an-effective-team/
http://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-build-a-successful-work-team-1918515
http://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/manage-a-successful-team
http://magazine.innential.com/how-to-build-effective-teams/
http://hr.berkeley.edu/hr-network/central-guide-managing-hr/managing-hr/interaction/team-building/steps