American Business models began to move away from “command-control” in the 1990s. Since then, team building has been covered from top to toe over the last decades because it was a novel approach to performance. Team building became a mirror of leadership. So why does it still seem foreign to many managers?
This is a concept I find many managers miss . . .
The primary function of the team leader is to understand who is on the team. This is critical so the team leader can delegate and assign actions in a fact-based way. The project team leader lays the foundation for how the team functions. Is feedback welcome or just “follow the leader” mandate? A strictly directive approach defies the meaning of the concept of a team. A huge challenge is to avoid group think, which is stifling for creativity and results.
People are most likely to do what you want when they know what is expected of them!
Each generation in the workplace has different ideas of what comprises team building. Millennials moving into management have a new world perspective–a challenge will be to marry different ideas to accomplish the projects at hand.
The purpose of the team and how to build collaboration
Ultimately, the purpose of the team is paramount to success. A pertinent team activity would be to draw conclusions for what customer impacts will occur per the team’s actions. Write responses to the objections and integrate them into the plan.
Map the critical path of the team’s mandate.
Use it at meetings and have the participants evaluate its progress. Call out the “gaps and traps”™** in the initial stages. Decide how decisions will be made. Does everyone have an equal vote? The team leader sets the tone for the entire process.
Have the team run, score, and reward its own performance. Track performance and allow the “cheerleaders” to encourage energy and enthusiasm rather than tamping them down. Visuals are effective to do this.
A clear plan and anticipated “plan B‘s” go far to product confidence in the team’s direction. At the formation level, gather the members’ input on what they perceive are issues that can crop up. Address issues for remote teams upfront. Be sure someone monitors this feature because of different time zones, cultural and age differences, and language barriers.
Shared responsibility pays benefits
Shared responsibility to accomplish a shared vision is a positive model. Research shows an “empowered team produced greater performance than a directive team in the long run.” *
Like individuals, teams will mature. They require time to acclimate to the conditions of the project, the climate of the culture (universal truths for the team like gravity in the universe), and what needs to happen. Consider (in your timeline) it takes time to trust each other and build credibility especially if this is a new team with people who have never worked with each other. What is the team’s risk tolerance relative to skills, time, resources, and results?
- Rewards are important. From the assessments, the team leader will know what is important to each participant.
- Leaders must be free to ask for help. Seek out a Snippet Learning™ training to be more effective in your own style.
- Allow peoples’ expertise to contribute fully.
- Hire a coach to support your professional growth.
- Be true to your own instincts and head forward. Good luck!
- Use emotional intelligence assessments like the EQ-i® 2.0. Do a team profile to identify what talents and skills are present—Allow people to rise to their personal strengths.
- Encourage solutions when presenting problems.
- Have a clear plan for handling situations that will inevitably arise.
- How is fear handled?
- Inspire cohesion with team building exercises to get them in the mindset.
- Clear definitions to manage expectations are critical. Allow for mistakes and stay away from punitive and judgmental comments when reporting to the team.
- Do not chastise individuals before the entire team for personal issues; take them aside to provide feedback.
Infographic source: Credit: Alaina Love https://bit.ly/2wNlHs2