Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
~ Henry Ford
As Halford Luccock once said, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” This analogy describes perfectly why teamwork is so critical. As individuals, we can accomplish tasks, but it takes a team to accomplish a vision. As critical as teams are to organizational success, it’s surprising to learn how many people do not understand how to put together an effective team. Following are six tips to building a better team.
Screen Potential Teammates – Although you may have an idea of who should be on the team, don’t jump to conclusions. Instead, spend time screening potential teammates. Think beyond simple skill sets they’ll bring to the team and be sure to consider personality. Too many controlling personalities can bog down a team as surely as a team filled with only followers.
Look for a Good Mix of Teammates – As mentioned above, you don’t want a team filled with one personality type. Also mix it up with experience levels and tenure at the organization. Placing new members of the organization on the team can help create solutions that go beyond the organization’s status quo.
Don’t Stop Team Building – Even if you have a superstar team put together, don’t stop team building. Keep your eyes pealed for potential valuable additions to the team. There’s always room for improvement, and a new team member can not only bring fresh ideas but also encourage complacent team members to not rest on their laurels.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Cuts – Sometimes your initial ideas about what will make a good team just don’t work out. That’s OK! Don’t be afraid to pull some team members off the team and switch them with new members. Sometimes making a better team is a process of trial and error.
Set Clearly Defined Goals – If you want to build a better team, you have to make sure they understand why they’re on the team. You can have the best team possible, but if they don’t know what exactly they’re supposed to be doing and by when, it’ll be impossible for them to work effectively and efficiently.
Empower the Team – Give your team the power to make the decisions needed to complete their goals. If they have the responsibility to accomplish goals, they should be given the responsibility to handle the interim decisions to get to those goals. It’s the key to helping you build a better team.
About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert
CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.
Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.