When you have a strong team, you can accomplish just about any task. And you’ll do it faster and more efficiently, due to the input of all members of the team working at their best. But, developing a strong team is not as easy as it seems. It takes more than just throwing a bunch of people together. These tips can help you build your team to be strong and effective.
1. Understand the Team Dynamic
It would be great if everyone on the team had the same values and goals. People are different, and they bring a mixed bag of their skills and past experiences with them. And while it is those differences that make great teams – where one person’s abilities compensate for another’s weaknesses – they also sometimes cause difficulties. You need to recognize those differences and incorporate them. Understanding the personalities of each member helps you with this.
2. Recognize the Weak Links
A chain is only a strong as its weakest link. This is true with teams as well. You need to know who those weak links are. Be aware it can be different members at different stages of a project. Some members may be strong at planning but weaker when it comes to the implementation stage, and so on. There can be many reasons for weak links within a team. Try to explore these reasons, so that you know who you’re working with, and try to come up with ways to compensate for them.
3. Build Links with Other Teams
Teams wait until they need something before they start working with other groups or departments. It’s often a better approach to develop these relationships before you need something from them. You’ll get less resistance, and you learn more in the process. Those other teams also know their own external groups that can assist your team when needed.
4. Strong Communication
No matter what your role, when you are part of a team you should always strive to communicate clearly and openly with your other members. Sometimes it can be hard (or impossible) to communicate when another team member refuses to engage, or discuss an obvious problem that they are ignoring. When this happens, it is in everyone’s best interests to have honest and open, two-way communication, to resolve any issues and keep moving forward. Sometimes that process needs to be facilitated by an outside manager or mediator.
5. Go with the Flow
Team dynamics change often. People are often not comfortable with change. It needs to be encouraged when it happens, and help provided to those who are more resistant, or unable to adapt quickly.
6. Reward the Team
It’s important to reward the team when they meet certain milestones. It doesn’t always have to be monetary rewards – sometimes an acknowledgment from a higher manager can have a huge, positive impact on the team. One idea is to plan a group activity with your team. It can be a fun night out, a challenge like an escape room, or something more adventurous. The key is to do it as a group.