SMART STRATEGIES TO HELP BUILD STRONG TEAMS
The process of building a team can be daunting whether it’s being done on a large scale or for small projects. Managers often find themselves wrestling with the various difficulties that arise when trying to establish good chemistry in a team. The fundamental key to eliminating uncertainty throughout this process is knowledge. The more knowledge you have about yourself, and the more knowledge you have about potential members of a team, the more strategically you can make decisions that ultimately realize the objectives of any project you seek to implement. Here are four rules to always remember when building teams in an organization.
- Be Self-Aware: Before heaping expectations upon others as a leader, it is absolutely necessary to understand one’s own leadership-style and personality. Comprehensive and honest self-awareness makes it possible to communicate effectually with team members and make one’s own standards of performance clear. For example, if someone has a Participative leadership style but they try to be Autocratic, they will probably come across as disingenuous to their team. Similarly if someone is instinctively Autocratic and they compromise this identity by trying to be Participative, they will only end up projecting weakness. Practicing an authentic leadership style allows you to be yourself which is the most central principle of communication with others.
- Be aware of Others: Beyond practicing self-awareness, taking the initiative to understand others is also essential to create the right chemistry in a team. The more one learns about others, especially from the perspective of honest self-awareness, the more seamless it is to assemble team members in a complementary way. The most important point is to exercise emotional intelligence about how team members are united. Being mindful of how different personalities in a team are likely to interact sets the stage to prevent undesirable outcomes such as conflict, idleness, or distraction to name a few.
- Define Roles Clearly: One of the most frustrating scenarios in teamwork occurs when team members either don’t know what is expected of them, or don’t know how to accomplish set goals. It’s understandable when this happens because of a complex task, but it is particularly problematic when it happens because of poor decision-making on a leader’s part. Leaders have a responsibility to ensure that employees have a clear and definitive understanding of what they are expected to contribute to an organization. In the absence of this structure, confusion takes hold and causes disruption to a team’s effectiveness. Maintaining clear team-member roles makes it possible to leverage employee strengths and weaknesses in a manner that keeps everyone consciously engaged in accomplishing their mutual objectives.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: There is no better way to gain or share knowledge within a team than through transparent communication. Superiors should communicate with subordinates frequently, colleagues should communicate amongst each other freely and subordinates should have meaningful access to their superiors – especially as pertaining to a shared task or goal. Open communication: sustains excitement about any work being done; builds trust among employees; creates opportunities to neutralize conflict; and fosters synergy in professional duties. Leaders should always be prepared to inform, guide and provide feedback to employees continually. An open channel of communication ultimately results in an ideal social environment for employees.
Building a team the right way is an investment in the people that make up a company. No company can survive without teamwork, and no manager can exist without an effective team to lead. Whether a project is big or small, assembling the right team for the job is an intricate process that should never be done hastily. This is because choosing the right people can make the difference between success and failure. There is too much at stake not to be deliberate in calibrating how teams are put together.