Your success, and the success of your organization, will hinge largely on the performance of the teams you’re responsible for. In today’s workplace teams are no longer optional. It’s no longer a question of using a team approach or not using a team approach. The question is will your teams be winners?
Here are six things that will help you, your teams, and your organization be victorious.
- Encourage them. Remember, from the beginning, your team will need encouragement from you. Let them know when they do a good job. Find ways to motivate them during difficult portions of the project. Help them visualize the benefits the successful completion of this project will result in. If you want a high-performance team, encourage, encourage, encourage.
- Model the behavior you want. Teams can quickly become dysfunctional. You’re bringing together several different personalities, value systems, and work styles. Tension can take root in your team quickly unless you are proactive. You, as team leader, must provide the example(s) for the group. How should your group react in various situations? They’ll look to you for guidance. What happens when disagreements escalate? You’ll set the tone with your actions. Whether you like it or not, your team’s behavior will be a direct by-product of your conduct as leader.
- Generate ideas. Teams need to continually generate fresh ideas. Even when the project parameters have been established, you should never stop the creative thinking process. There are always things that can be done better, faster, and more efficiently. Without the perpetuity of idea generation, you’ll be stuck doing the same things, the same ways, with the same results. Don’t let that happen.
- Make it clear who does what. Before your first team meeting, meet with the individual members and let them know what their role, as a part of the team, will be. When the group convenes for the first time, everyone should already know what is, and will be, expected of them. They should also be clear regarding the roles of the other team members.
- Remember the individuals. Yes, you’re working with a team, but the team is made up of individual members. These members aren’t all the same. They will require various types of management. Be sure to manage the team, but also keep in mind the importance of working with individual personalities, styles, and needs. When it comes to working with teams, it’s not one-size-fits-all.
- Prepare before you start. This one should be first, but I saved it for last because it is so important. If you want your team to win, you better be prepared long before you sit down with the team for the first time. Don’t try to figure out the specifics in your first meeting. Your team will expect you to be far more prepared than they are. If you’re not, the project is birthed in chaos and it’s unlikely it will ever fully recover. You must be prepared first.
QUESTION(s): Are your teams as effective as they should and could be? If not, what can you do today to address the challenges?