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The 6 Keys To Creating A Successful Team For A Startup

The 6 Keys To Creating A Successful Team For A Startup

Are you the team lead or a manager at a startup? Do you want to have a successful team?

The following steps are keys to running a good team at a startup. Your team will look up to you, there will be fewer mishaps, less confusion and stress, and you’ll also have fun while shipping. Given below are the key things that if left out of your team planning and management, will cause your team to struggle. It will definitely hurt your company as a whole. Follow these keys to avoid the problems.

1. Lead By Example To Build Trust

Trust is a biggie when it comes to having a closely-knit team that works together well. As the team lead or manager, you’ll want to make sure that you build trust with your team. Show the example you expect from your team members. For example, if you want them to trust you then give them reasons to do so.

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    Actionable Tips To Implement Trust Into Your Team:

    • Spend some time each month to get to know your team members. Have a team event of some sort. (example: bowling, team picnic, ice-skating, or something that everyone enjoys.)
    • Lead by example. Show your team that you trust them. Don’t micromanage.
    • Do team building exercises.
    • Have your team do a personality test and the love language test. (This is usually for couples, but knowing the best way to speak to and work with your team member will really help them trust you more.) Doing these kinds of tests with your team will help you learn best how to serve and speak to your team members in a way that will make them respect you.

    2. Encourage More Face-To-Face Communication

    We live in a world of constant communication. Phone calls, instant messages, and forums to name a few, but in our fast paced world of technology, especially in the startup world, we are forgetting something extremely important: It’s important to be more human in the workplace. Our brains are made up of cells and tissue.

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    There is a time for instant messaging and such, but when it comes to building a strong team you want to communicate face-to-face more often because misunderstandings happen so easily with instant messaging. It’s harder to hear a person’s tone of voice in these messages.

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      Actionable Tips To Better Communication:

      • Go talk to your teammate in person, instead of instant messaging them. This is good for you, for more than one reason. It gets you out of your chair and also helps you build communication skills.
      • If you have any team members who are remote, set up a time that you could call them on the phone or on video chat.
      • Smile.
      • When problems arise with a teammate or a few team members, go talk to them in person, but away from others. Don’t make a scene. It won’t make either of you look good.
      • This is similar to the bullet point above. Don’t talk to other people about problems that you might be having with a certain team member. Go to that person and discuss the problem privately.

      3. Encourage A Healthy Atmosphere

      You want your team members to be excited to go to work every morning, so it’s vital that you create and encourage a healthy atmosphere. In order to have a successful team, you need to have happy team members. And in order to have happy team members they need to feel secure and respected.

      A photo by Jeff Sheldon. unsplash.com/photos/JWiMShWiF14

        Actionable Tips To Encourage A Healthy Atmosphere:

        • Don’t gossip or encourage it.
        • Don’t hold too many meetings. If you have meetings, keep them short and to the point.
        • Have a props session to talk up your team members. Compliment them. With the fast-paced speed of most startups, compliments sometimes fall by the wayside because you’re already onto new projects.

        4. Encourage Healthy Living

        Most roles (writers, designers, developers, and customer success agents) in a startup sit at a computer from 9-5 each day, during the work week (and sometimes even more than that).

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        We all know that exercise, eating right, and getting enough sleep makes a healthy and well-rounded person. We also know that sitting is slowly killing us.

        So you can see why it’s important for you as the team lead to encourage a healthy living regime in order to have a healthy and successful team.

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          Actionable Tips To Encourage Healthy Living In And Out Of The Office:

          • Hold walking meetings where you and your team take a stroll around the block while holding your meeting.
          • Get some standing and walking desks in the office.
          • Set up a room in the office with exercise balls and yoga mats. A small yoga break might be all a team member needs to relieve some stress.
          • Hold monthly health challenges to encourage and keep your team healthy. For example, hold a walking challenge and see who in the team gets more steps in the month. Or a weight loss challenge. At the end of the challenge, the winner gets something awesome or wins some money. Make it worth it.

          Encouraging a healthy life encourages a better life, which makes a better team member and a better team altogether.

          5. Define The Roles Well And Let Your Team Own Them

          This part is so important.

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          First, before you do anything, ask your team members what is doable for them, so they don’t get overwhelmed with unrealistic goals. That would be a one-way ticket to a confused and worn out team member.

          Write each person’s role and the definition of their role and what they do daily, so your team will know. Share the roles with each individual on the team. Also, share it with the whole team together so everyone knows who does what.

          The next important step that you have to take as the team lead is: step back. Let your team own their roles. Sometimes it might be hard, but you have to. If you don’t, you are going to come off as a micromanager. And nobody likes that.

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            Actionable Tips To Help You Define Team Member Roles:

            • Speak with your team members to see what is going to be easily done. Don’t overshoot your goals and overload your team members.
            • Grab a notebook and write up each of your team roles and list out what each role entails.
            • Step back and let them own their roles.

            6. Take Control When There Are Problems

            Fire-drills. Disagreements. Unorganized projects. These are just a few problems that can throw a team out of sync.

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            This is something that you have to take control of as the team lead. Your team is looking to you. If your team feels stress with a project, that is a sign that the project wasn’t organized enough. It isn’t your team’s fault. It’ll be really important that you keep projects organized and specific.

            Another area where problems might arise is where team members get into disagreements that affect the entire team. Your role as the team lead is that you are on the team’s side. Not any single teammate’s side. You want the best for the entire team. You have to sit down and help the situation get figured out. If not, it will become a disaster.

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              Actionable Tips To Help You Take Control When Issues Arise:

              • Talk to all sides of the team (individual and the whole team).
              • Find out what is going well, what isn’t going well, and what could be improved.
              • Work on the “what isn’t going well” and the “what could be improved.”
              • Don’t pick sides. Stay open to both sides when there is a disagreement and look for ways to fix it.
              • Don’t cause issues between team members.

              Leading a team at a fast-paced startup can be stressful if not properly done, but if you follow these 6 keys you’ll have a happier, less stressed, and more successful team.

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              Last Updated on October 20, 2020

              How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

              How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

              You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

              We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

              The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

              Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

              1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

              Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

              For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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              • (1) Research
              • (2) Deciding the topic
              • (3) Creating the outline
              • (4) Drafting the content
              • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
              • (6) Revision
              • (7) etc.

              Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

              2. Change Your Environment

              Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

              One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

              3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

              Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

              Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

              My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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              Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

              4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

              If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

              Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

              I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

              5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

              I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

              Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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              As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

              6. Get a Buddy

              Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

              I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

              7. Tell Others About Your Goals

              This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

              For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

              8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

              What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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              9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

              If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

              Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

              10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

              Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

              Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

              11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

              At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

              Reality check:

              I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

              Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

              More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

              Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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