You’ve already read about the two skills that transcend gender in the workplace: communication and problem-solving. We can now move on to the third skill: team-building. Leaders must learn how to build a team that works.
There are many types of business teams. They can all be located under the same roof but on different floors. But, leaders must build and manage effective teams to succeed.
How can one create a team that is cohesive and functions at its best? Here are some tips for dynamic teamwork.
1. Create a Shared Sense of Purpose
A team that is effective must work together in a common direction towards achieving a common goal. To do this, leaders must inspire. The Latin word Inspirare means literally “to breathe life into.”
This definition is excellent. It describes what a great leader should do. They “breathe life into” their people, their vision, the organization, and their community. They motivate others by communicating a compelling outcome that makes it clear how the goal is driven. They know what the reward will be for their efforts.
The end result is specific, and all possibilities are possible!
2. Don’t Dominate ~ Lead
Yes, there is a fine line between leading and dominating. Over the years of working with people, I’ve come to realize that asking them to just do an experiment and watch the results is the best way to prove this point.
What happens when one person dominates a discussion or a meeting? Are there ideas flowing freely? Do people engage? What happens to the meeting’s tone? What happens to the style of the meeting after people leave?
Dominating is the “wet blanket” method of leadership. It blocks creativity, slows the momentum down, and eventually makes for an ineffective team.
You must be able to communicate and listen well if you want to be a leader and not a dictator. Are people leaving knowing more about you than you?
3. Ask for points of view
If a leader is too dominant, it can lead to a team being stifled. However, leaders who make an effort to engage their team members will be successful.
Engage the entire team. Not just one or two members. Ask everyone to participate. Asking for their opinion is a great way to draw out people who might not normally speak.
Encourage brainstorming. Post it on the wall, attach it to the walls and assign a scribe. Then, capture the ideas in writing.
This makes people feel valued, and it leads to better results for the team.
4. Recognize the strengths of your team
Assess your team to determine their strengths and “pitch to” others for success.
Many leaders don’t take the time and effort to assess their team for skills, interests, strengths, and professional goals. I believe that not taking the time to evaluate your team accurately is a big mistake. It will ultimately cost you a lot.
Get to know your team members and find out what they’re good at, what interests them, what they would like to learn, and what their professional development needs are.
The payoff for a leader is double. This assessment not only communicates to your team and individual members that you value them but also helps you to strategize how to maximize their talents.
5. Create a team identity
Each group develops an identity. Groups create a persona, whether they are intentional or not. You can take control of your team’s destiny and make it unique and exciting.
Whatever the size, diversity, or geographical location of your team, brainstorm ways to create a sense of identity that everyone can be proud of. This alone creates unity.
Develop a mission statement. Ask each member to share one word that they associate with the group. Then, create a mission statement that summarizes the group’s purpose.
You will need to identify a unique image that is associated with the group and its mission and purpose. This image should be included in all correspondence.
Ask the group directly what they would like to be remembered for. What do they want other people to think of them? What impression do you want to make on your organization?
It doesn’t matter if it’s a project group for a short time or a senior executive team; the identity of a group is crucial because it directly relates to its purpose and intent.
All Together Now!
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