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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 March 13, 2019

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

              1. Work on the small tasks.

              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

              2. Take a break from your work desk.

              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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              3. Upgrade yourself

              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

              4. Talk to a friend.

              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

              7. Read a book (or blog).

              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

              8. Have a quick nap.

              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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              9. Remember why you are doing this.

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

              10. Find some competition.

              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

              11. Go exercise.

              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

              12. Take a good break.

              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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