Team Development

Successful Team Building. Elusive? Maybe. Desired? Definitely. Challenging? Sure. But top class Team Building is what all great bosses do. Having a slick, smart, gung-ho team around you is the ingredient you need, to make your business or organisation really perform.

“The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are. They are frank in admitting this and are willing to pay for such talents.”

Amos Parrish

Yet why is it so challenging for many managers and leaders? What proves so difficult? Well, what we will do here is to try to tease out all the elements of how you go about easy Team Building.

Top Ten Things About Team Building

People who lead the best teams realise early on that they cannot run their business alone. It will either kill them or they will fail.

Here are some of the ways the very best set about Team Building

  1. Be Clear
    Great team leaders have expressed a very clear vision and with it simple expectations of their team.
  2. Are Fair and Consistent
    They have one set of rules and one set only – for everyone including themselves. Everyone knows the acceptable behaviour and standards.
  3. Delegate
    The best Team Building comes through sharing key workload, enabling team members to succeed, develop and deliver the result.
  4. Leave Well Alone
    Leaders are very clear on what they want and then let go. They are not especially interested in how it is delivered, though they recognise the best results come from collaboration.
  5. Provide Resources
    Great team leaders enhance the relationship with their team by ensuring that they have all they need to get the job done, whilst subtly alerting them to potential difficulties.
  6. Give and Take Feedback
    In open and honest relationships all members of the team are willing to give each other support and feedback – including the leader. Both ways.
  7. Blame No-one
    To truly enable a team of positive and willing contributors, risk is allowed! Using the phrase ‘ask for forgiveness, not permission‘ a great team evolves. Delivering outstanding results.
  8. Develop the Team
    Excellent Team Building comes from growing together and a top team leader’s mission is to make that happen. Synergies are exploited, experiences are shared and above all team members are challenged and stretched to maximise achievements, in a place of safety.
  9. Appreciate Individuals
    There are great individuals in great teams and the leaders job is to honour each and every one of them, whilst utilising those special, individual talents, in a co-creative team performance.
  10. Celebrate Together
    And boy do those best at Team Building know how to make the most of success – ready for the next challenge!

Ten Ways to be Better at Team Building

  1. Do Less
    Appreciate that leading a team is about giving way and letting others get on with it.
  2. Communicate Well
    Keep in touch regularly. Keep your people informed and listen to them well. Ups and downs – if you do this, they will build their trust in you.
  3. Be Interested in the People
    By creating a great team remember that they are all individuals too – they are real people who have differing needs from you. Appreciating that differentiates you as an exceptional team leader.
  4. Choose Well
    The best time to choose a team is at the start. If you tolerate poor team members it is much, much harder to fix. So choose well. Recruit well. It’s the best form of Team Building you can use.
  5. Learn Together
    This is a concerted effort of co-operative learning – all together, including you – admit your shortfalls and they will support you. Support them and they will grow!
  6. Review
    And as part of that learning, review progress regularly; appreciate if someone is struggling and encourage ways to learn and move on. Review the end result too Using what’s been learned for the next project.
  7. Be Open
    As leader you have an important role to make sure that the job gets done. Yet you are allowed to be open with them – to share your concerns and fears. It is OK to be human and within that emotional bond, you will all become a stronger team.
  8. Allow Failure
    How you handle things when they do go wrong is a vital component in how your team will evolve and how you will evolve as a team leader. The outcome will be positive or more fear and doubt. As Charles Lindbergh said:-

    “What kind of man would live where there is no daring. I don’t believe in taking foolish chances, but nothing can be accomplished without taking any chance at all”

  9. Have Fun
    It’s OK to have fun. A team leader walks a fine line between over-familiarity and easy business relationships. But it can be done – watch for signals and respond accordingly. At the same time enable laughter and joy. It is a strong bond.
  10. Spread the Word
    When the team work is over, or if key people move on, rejoice in what they take from the experience with you. Encourage them to use their experience of Team Building with their new people and do it for themselves.

5 Simple Actions You Can Take Today!

  • Watch how much depends on you as the boss. If it is hard – you need better team-working.
  • Test yourself this week for things that ‘only you can do’. Ask yourself, ‘Is this really true?’. ‘Is there no-one else I have on board who can help me here?’
  • Find a great team (business; sport; whatever) and consider everything they needed to become as good as they are as a team.
  • Find out what your team members would like to do that you do yourself. Asking them is the best and easiest way.
  • Ask them what you could personally do differently that would enable them to do their jobs much better.
  • One more! – checkout where the weaknesses are in your team – who is it that sucks energy from you (and others) – is it fixable or not. If not work out a humane way to resolve it fast.

Read some great Team Building books like:-

“Gung Ho!” – Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles
“Zapp! -The Lightening of Empowerment” – William Byham
“Maverick!” – Ricardo Semler
“Fish!” – Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul & John Christensen