Teambuilding is something many leaders struggle with. How can you possibly make an effective team from a group of people that are, more likely than not, inherently very different? Think about your favorite sports team. Each player has their own position but all the players work together toward a common goal: winning. A work team is exactly the same. Despite personality differences the people on a team always have something in common. Work teammates usually share the same skill set, and have work responsibilities that complement each other. As a leader, it is your job to balance the differences with the similarities to achieve collaboration.
Tip #1 – Call out the “I” in Team
Place people in roles that play to their strengths to maximize efficiency, and give individual praise when it is deserved. Help each individual see how their role specifically fits into the team’s goals.
Tip #2 – Enable employees to make decisions
Establish decision makers for each of the key work responsibilities that fall to your team. Knowing who makes the call on what keeps the workflow productive and prevents you, as team leader, from having to answer every question on every topic.
Tip #3 – Train for conflict
Disagreement is inevitable, so train your team in conflict resolution to help them respectfully engage with each other. This will maintain positive working relationships between teammates.
Tip #4 – Encourage learning
Teams are most effective when they work together. This means that each team member needs to know what each of their teammates does, and should be able to lend a hand or fill in when needed.
Tip #5 – Re-evaluate regularly
Even as the team begins to succeed in working together well your work is not done. Look for creative ways to keep collaboration efforts fresh, and shift responsibilities to continually make the best use of team resources.
~Kathleen Sales, Quartet Blog Author & Editor