Team Enhancement – A Two-Way Street
Team building and enhancement is amazing and something that each of us has benefited from during the years. I salute all the teams and team builders that choose this as a career. It is hard to measure how many individuals were helped and guided along the way. Often the appreciation for teams comes long after the individual has gone onto other things.
There is however something that is good to keep in mind. No matter where or when there is the opportunity to keep learning, take it. Every day there are opportunities to become better as a team and as an individual. There are ways to build and enhance the team without always going to a seminar. It is in the everyday involvement and skills of the leader:
Who does the job best? You’ll notice that I did not ask about mistakes. No matter how great the team there will be mistakes. But I ask about who does the best job. As the leader you need to believe that your team is the best. This will come across to the team in your actions and tones. If you don’t believe they are the best, why should they?
Clear instructions. So we are in a room with three doors and all are open. I ask you to close the door. Which door? All the way closed or partially? There are assumptions made all the time at work or on the playing field and people will try to please. However if they don’t exactly know what you want, they will guess.
Say hello. When people come in for work just greet them and ask how they are. Let them know there is more to them than simply a worker. This goes a long way in getting a relationship that may not be friends but has human qualities to it. They learn you are more than a leader or manager also.
Praise. Praise. Praise. Money is a very short term motivator, so don’t count on that to keep anyone at their highest level. Instead people need to know they are doing a good job. Look for what is going right. It is very easy to see mistakes because of the impact but remember the good and correct methods are having a greater impact on a consistent basis.
Don’t just see the team. Be sure to mentor, teach, and grow the individual also. The more confident each individual, the better the team. Show each member how actions by each affect the team.
Listen. This is what employees want. They want someone to hear them. They also have great ideas and they know what it takes to get the job done. But often the time to be heard is at the end of a meeting when there is a time limit. Though meetings are great this is not where you will hear what a team member is thinking and feeling. A great way to listen is to hear what they are saying to each other. Hanging around the team and having them be comfortable with you being around will usually give the chance to hear some extra communication.
Care – I have put this last because it’s the last thing I want you to see. If you don’t care, neither will the individual or the team. Ask them how it is going. Ask them if they need anything. Tell them how important they are. Tell them they make a difference.
There is a back and forth flow that occurs between a leader and the team. When this is done in a consistent manner the team is usually incredible.