First Things First!

Have you ever looked at a successful organization and thought to yourself, what key elements did this organization possess which lead to this amazing success?

Hearing about it is kind of the same as looking at a tall tree, it looks great and strong from the outside, but nobody really knows just how deep the tree roots really are.

When it comes to forming a successful team, it’s crucial that all members have the same goal in mind, as well as mission and vision values before forming the team, this way all members are on the same page and their values are equivalent with one another.

In these series of posts I’m going to discuss the 5 most important steps to forming a successful team. The first characteristic is clear communication. Team members have to be able to communicate efficiently and effectively with each other. Clear communication is crucial for role assignment as well as other duties with any organization, as it limits the room and error and enables team members to focus on what to do next. (Biech, Elaine, 2001)

Communication can be divided into different sections within a team or an organization; however, successful teams have to acknowledge the different types and skills of communication levels on board. For example, a team might have an excellent speaker on board, such a skill can be useful for presentations and team meetings, at the same time there might be a member who is better than other team members at writing, such a skill can be used for generating important emails and documents, if all the communication elements are well covered, the team should also have a member who is good at interpretation, such a skill can be useful for understanding important messages to be addressed with the team.

 

Teamwork
Business concept. Isolated on white

Reference

Biech, Elaine. (2001). 10 Characteristics of Successful Teams. Retrieved from http://www.ursuline.edu: http://www.ursuline.edu/documents/student_life/student_activities/lead/10_Characteristics_of_Successful_Teams.pdf

How to be Alpha…

Have you ever looked at a champion, and thought what did it take for that person to become a champion? Well it takes great leadership skills first, before the championship is earned. Whether you choose to look at a sports team or a business team leader, the characteristics are very similar.

A leader is someone with great vision for the team, someone who is always motivated, who also has the ability to motivate everyone around them. For example, a good team leader will always have something positive to say to the team, even if things aren’t looking so pretty. (Shana Lebowitz, 2015)

A leader is the person to go to, whether it’s a personal issue, or an issue related to the cause, they are always open to hearing anyone who isn’t having a good day, and they are the ones who have the ability to regenerate the positive engine. (Shana Lebowitz, 2015)

A leader is someone who sets the bench mark, they are the ones who focus on the goal for the team without having to point themselves out, they set the bench mark by working the hardest while maintaining motivation, at the same time, they aren’t the ones who are commanding, because that’s what managers are for, and a leader isn’t a manager. (Shana Lebowitz, 2015)

A leader is someone who is always receptive for feedback. For example, just because they might set bench mark for work ethics, that doesn’t mean that they are perfectionists, after all we’re human and we make mistake; however, team leaders are always open for constructive criticism, and they view criticism as an opportunity to grow, rather than a setback, because with repetition comes perfection, and the more you practice a weakness, the stronger you’ll become at it. (Shana Lebowitz, 2015)

Reference

Shana Lebowitz. (2015, September 18). A personality test used by major companies screens leaders for these 18 traits. Retrieved from businessinsider.com/: http://www.businessinsider.com/characteristics-of-successful-leaders-2015-9

Conflict Management For Success

It is inevitable for humans to go a whole week without getting into at least one conflict, so why should it be any different when it comes to teams?

We always face challenges, and it’s no different that when a team is put under a big amount of stress, that they too breakdown; however, only a successful team can manage to get through hardship without breaking apart. Sometimes these conflicts may start from as little as one of the group members might be having a bad day, as a team, it’s their job to figure out what could be wrong with that member instead of complaining about it amongst each other. Complaining about it might get the team sidetracked which will later lead to delays on various types of deliveries, and even worse, it may cause an unnecessary dispute within the team, which can really slow down the overall progress depending on the project. In some cases if issues are gone unsolved, and disputes keep occurring, suspensions or even terminations might be on their way. (Kjerulf, 2006)

Most times the problem is only as big as you make it, meaning that if a team member is constantly complaining about a specific issue, no matter how small the issue is, over time it will get bigger. So how does a successful team deal with these issues?

A truly successful team will get together, focus on the issue the moment it occurs, and sometimes through the necessary training, the problem will be broken down into bits and pieces until an agreement is reached. This way, before the problem got out of hand, it was dealt with.

If the issue has to do with just one team member, sometimes it may be necessary to take that member apart from everyone else, and deal with them individually. Either way, the issue must be dealt with on the spot to help keep the team going.

Reference

Kjerulf, A. (2006, July 31). 5 essential steps to resolve a conflict at work. Retrieved from positivesharing.com: http://positivesharing.com/2006/07/5-essential-steps-to-resolve-a-conflict-at-work/

Motivating Eachother

Every morning when we wake up, we might wake up with low self-energy, which may lead to lack of motivation and laziness. Key contributors to the fact maybe because we lost in a sports team, or if it’s a business setting, it was because the team maybe didn’t meet the sales goal.

It’s important to understand that we might not necessarily always “win” or have things go our way; however, dealing with such devastation might not mean it’s the end of the world. It just means we have to keep trying harder to meet our goals as a team next time.

When such bad events occur, as a team it’s important that all the members back each other up as a team, this can be done by setting up meetings to discuss the bad event, and discuss on what to do next time to avoid falling in the same position. Unfortunately some members in some cases may be suspended in these events, or even expelled or terminated from the group or the team assignment. (Liddell, 2015)

In return, if the team delivers a victory, either in sales or in sports, it’s only fair that the team leader shows recognition to the team members to show appreciation of the hard work that was put into a certain project or task. Team recognition may be individual, which includes employee of the month, where only one member is recognized for their hard work, which prizes or additional benefits may be offered, or it can be for the whole department, where staff dinners may occur or other types of organizational offers are made. (Liddell, 2015)

Reference

Liddell, D. (2015). Motivation Through Teamwork. Retrieved from http://www.evancarmichael.com: http://www.evancarmichael.com/library/david-liddell/motivation-through-teamwork.html

Diversity Matters!

As the key to successful teams is communication,  so is diversity and culture management. In North America there are many different races and cultures. It is important to understand your team members. Many people will look at diversity as it being only race and culture related. However, diversity is far more complex. It is about understanding your team member’s ethnicity, religion, and cultural practices; and respecting, along with embracing them within the team.

In team work environment’s, it’s important to understand that not all team members might necessarily have the same education backgrounds, and more importantly not from the same country, some team members might contribute with a foreign way of thinking, that it because they might possess a degree from a different country, and a true successful team will respect that, and will even cooperate with the fact.

In order to succeed even more, a smart team will leverage the diversity on board, and will look at opportunities instead of obstacles. For example, if you were trying to form a business, and your team consisted of more than one ethnic background that could be a plus in case your business grow and now your team is trying to make business trades internationally. (Glenn Llopis, 2011)

Nowadays when looking at a team and analyzing its group members, your team is a lot more likely to gain the general public’s trust and respect if it is diverse, because outsiders will feel a lot more welcome, which can further help grow your team. (Glenn Llopis, 2011)

 

References

Glenn Llopis. (2011, June). Diversity Management Is the Key to Growth: Make It Authentic. Retrieved from Forbes Leadership: http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2011/06/13/diversity-management-is-the-key-to-growth-make-it-authentic/#624d5f162489