A successful team requires dedication, contribution from all members, good communication, and cooperation. A team with these qualities will outperform teams that lack any or all of these. What areas do you need to focus on to help make your team a force to be reckoned with?
In order to be dedicated to achieving a goal, teams and team members need to know, understand, and agree on what those goals are. It’s also necessary for them to know that the goals can be successfully achieved. Team members should be involved with the setting of the team goals and values, and given clear direction on the team’s shared purpose.
Each member of a team has their own strengths and aptitudes. While teams need those who take initiative and step up to lead, if some members bear most of the weight they are more likely to burnout, and other members are more likely to lose dedication.
All team members must feel needed, included, and necessary for the team goals. Make sure that all members are included in decisions and empower them to speak up. These two things will help build the confidence of the individual members and make them feel as though they are a contributing member of the team. In the end, this will boost their contribution and the team’s morale.
Everyone knows that communication is vital to a team, but this doesn’t just mean keeping tabs on everything. Team members need to trust that what they say won’t be met with hostility. Each member of a team should feel confident to share new ideas and even defend unpopular ones. If they feel demoralized or fear harassment when they voice an opinion, a manager could be losing vital information or creative ideas.
Team members should be rewarded and encouraged to participate in friendly, positive communication. This kind of environment will energize a team and make them more cohesive. Promote problem solving, not problem identifying. Listen to issues, but guide them to find solutions that will help not only them, but also the team.
It’s inevitable that there will be some amount of conflict in any team, no matter how cohesive the team is and despite even the best management skills. But managed correctly, these conflicts can prove to be useful.
Teams should understand that conflict happens in even the best groups and that it does need to be dealt with. A manager shouldn’t ignore conflict because it’s inconvenient to deal with it, but instead see it as a learning and growing opportunity for the group. Pushed aside, conflict can grow into stubborn behavior, resentment, and damaging agendas.
Use empathy to understand what each party to the conflict might be feeling. Put yourself in their situation so you can better grasp what might be useful to remedy it. Encourage team members to speak about their issues, but try to frame the situation positively.
A well-managed, unified team can accomplish a great deal more than one mired in a fearful, creativity-dampening environment. Keep your team’s work environment positive, encourage communication and contribution, and handle issues as soon as they arise and you’ll find yourself on the path to building a great team.
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