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The 6 Keys To Creating A Successful Team For A Startup

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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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              Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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              Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

              Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

              During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

              But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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              Simplify

              I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

              Absolutely.

              And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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              If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

              • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
              • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
              • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

              Be Mindful

              You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

              Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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              Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

              Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

              Reflect

              As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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              Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

              But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

              So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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              Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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