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4 Team Building Hacks to Create a Dream Team

4 Team Building Hacks to Create a Dream Team

By now, you must have figured that the people you hire have a lot to do with how successful your company is going to be. This is why you can see many companies out there trying to personalize their recruitment process to look for the specific character traits and skillsets that can be easily teamed up and allow people to work together efficiently.

Yeah, that can certainly be a difficult task. And let me tell you something, even if you manage to do an excellent job during the recruitment process, it’s going to be hard to get to the dream-team phase.

All of the HR manuals out there make this part of business sound too boring and generic. It seems that somehow, in the process of increasing revenue and cutting down expenses, people have forgotten that it’s the connection that matters; that spark that ignites productivity when there is chemistry within a team.

Without further ado let’s get down to business. Here are some tips on how to create a team everyone would like to be a part of.

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1. Reshape Interview Process

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    In the last couple of years, we have seen some really interesting questions that were standard during job interviews in some of the biggest companies in the world. Many of you may have thought to yourself, “Why didn’t I come up with this? It’s so cool!” Well, to be honest, it’s good that you didn’t. Even, Laszlo Bock, former head of human resources at Google, admitted that those have proven to be terrible tools to identify the best potential employees.

    You won’t make any mistake if you sit down and write some of the questions. In the end, if you create a question, you will be the one who knows best what kind of response works best. A good start would be to write down your business goals and what it takes to achieve them, as well as what it took to get to the current state of your business. Check if the candidates have the same mindset as yours, as it is really important to be on the same page.

    2. Create a Positive Working Atmosphere

    There are several crucial things that you should always keep in mind when trying to create a dream team. Organizational culture, relationships between team members and supervisors and, of course, the possibility for personal development.

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    Everything should start and end with a conversation. This is why, right from the start, you need to encourage co-workers to exchange all the information that has value for team progress. The best way to make the employees feel that they belong in the organization is to feed their need to feel like they are contributing in more than one way. If you keep an open form of communication with them, especially during meetings, there is a great chance that their paycheck won’t be the only incentive in their motivation repertoire.

    Also, try to bring diversity to the workplace. There are some really cool software tools that can lift the team’s spirit by spicing things up with mini games. For instance, you can use time-tracking software like Toggl, Hubstaff or RescueTime to create multiple “timed goals” for each team member and organize a competition with symbolic rewards. This game will also increase time-management skills for both you and the team.

    3. Become a Great Leader

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      You already possess most of the qualities that make a good leader. You just need to embrace them and let them work out for you. Just wait and you will see, some of them are embedded in our human nature.

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      Let’s start with honesty. Honesty is a characteristic found in all great team leaders and when you practice it, it leaves you with that great feeling in your chest. When you make honesty a key virtue, you can expect that your co-workers will follow your example. Honesty is a pillar of every helpful and friendly workspace.

      Next in line is confidence. I’ve already mentioned how your behavior reflects on the team as a whole. Well, confidence is something very important, especially in times when things aren’t going according to plan. If you remain calm during difficult times, team morale will flourish and everyone will be working and moving ahead with their crosshairs on a larger goal.

      4. Reinvent Team Building

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        Team Building is a time when your employees should not feel like it is another “business” day. The emphasis should be on spending time together and sharing some unique experiences, even if that’s something a bit outside of someone’s comfort zone.

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        When you are planning a team building activity or creating one, you should also set some goals. You can organize events where people can discover what motivates and demotivates other team members. Or, play a game that shows the value of everyone’s ideas. Also, don’t restrain from trying the good old get to know each other games. Not only will your co-workers get the chance to find out something new about their colleagues, but you can also use this material for future team building events.

        Team building games are also an excellent opportunity to improve problem-solving skills and to inspire creativity. These types of games are popular by the name “Use what you have”. For newly formed teams, a scavenger hunt game can improve collaboration and teamwork, and you can always make it more interesting with clues and riddles.

        Conclusion

        As you can see, building a good team is a process and it can be hard at times. But, let those “hard” times and how your team passes through them serve you as a key indicator of where the team is going. Feel free to make adjustments on the go. In the end, you will see that it’s all about the soft skills and the chemistry that

        Feel free to make adjustments on the go. In the end, you will see that it’s all about the soft skills and the chemistry that develops between team members when it comes to increasing productivity and morale at the workplace.

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        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Last Updated on April 8, 2020

        How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

        How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

        Overwhelmed with work, family responsibilities, financial challenges and health issues are common culprits which catalyze stress and anxiety symptoms that show up differently in each and every one of us.

        Whilst many of us are becoming much better at identifying what can trigger us to feel these, we’re not always that great at recognizing our individual thresholds; we don’t know exactly how to calm down when the mental, emotional storms erupt.

        We can almost see you eye-rolling upon hearing commonly recommended stress antidotes such as taking a bath, lighting candles or going for a walk. Let’s face it. These simply aren’t practical things you can do when you’re on a red-eye flight at 5:30am to run a full day of training interstate and then fly back the same evening not to mention juggling a young family.

        You want to know your triggers, predict the impact of them and have your own suite of tools up your sleeve to calm down that impact for the long-term.

        Doing a little ground work to gain a strong self-awareness of your likely reactions puts you smack bang in the pilot seat to develop a robust mental and emotional toolkit that will work wonders for you.

        A few simple but well-practiced techniques may be all you need to simmer down the cyclonic intensity of emotions, and disparaging thoughts pecking away at your self-esteem and confidence. However, it’s important you do this self-reflective groundwork first to gain maximum impact for long-term effect.

        1. Strengthen Familiarity with What Triggers You

        When you have arguments with your loved one, do you stop and look to see if there are certain things you fight about? Are there certain behaviors they display that drive you bananas?

        Take your focus off them and ask yourself: “What is my usual response?”

        Perhaps you feel the anger welling up inside your chest and you then spurt out that you’ve told him or her ten times before to not leave their underwear lying across the bedroom floor.

        Think a little deeper. Ask yourself what values, standards and expectations you have that are not being met here. You’ll likely be attached to certain ways you believe things should play out. Are there assumptions and expectations as to how you believe people should conduct themselves and principles about how you feel you should be treated?

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        Having a strong attachment to these for yourself is one thing. Expecting others to have the same attachment is often what can make the hot water start simmering.

        It is often when people behave in ways inconsistent with our belief systems and events unfold in discord with what we expect and are prepared for that we feel the most stress and anxiety.

        Make a list of the common circumstances in different areas of your life that cause you to become anxious and stressed. Against each of these, describe your stress response:

        What happens? What do you feel?

        Now think about the values, principles and expectations you have attached to these. You’ll see you have a few options:

        • Change my values and expectations
        • Try to change other’s values and expectations
        • Recognize and be in allowance of others having different values, standards and expectations

        Reviewing how you react when you’re stressed and anxious, and identifying which of these three options above is going to best serve you, can greatly increase your ability to feel and be in control of calming your reaction.

        You move closer to being able to choose how you want to respond as opposed to feeling helpless and the world is spiralling out of control.

        2. Have Coping Statements on Hand

        When you have a washing machine of chaotic thoughts churning in your mind, trying to implant thoughts that are the complete opposite of what you’re thinking and feeling can be pretty hard.

        Not being able to do it can also add another layer of us feeling disappointment in ourselves. We feel we’re failing.

        Having coping statements that you can literally latch on to to help you calm down in those stressful and anxious moments, can be particularly helpful.

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        Look at creating palm cards and just have three to five of these you can have in your pocket or in your purse. Here are 6 examples:

        • Even though I am feeling this right now, I am going to be alright
        • What I am feeling right now is uncomfortable. I won’t feel this way forever. Soon the intensity of what I am feeling will pass.
        • I’ve survived these feelings before. I can do it again.
        • I feel this way because of my past experiences but right now, I am actually safe.
        • It’s ok for me to feel this way. My body and brain are trying to protect me but I am actually safe right now.
        • Ah, here you are again, anxiety. Thanks for showing up to protect me, but I don’t need you right now.

        Choose words and dialogue that feel true and accurate for you. Read the statements out to yourself and test how fitting they are for you. What feels more assuring, calming and right for you?

        Make these statements your own. The aim is of these statements is to de-escalate the intensity of what you feel when you’re anxious and stressed.

        Remember, you want to refrain from having blunt statements which feel or sound like they’re self-reprimanding because they won’t be pacifying in a positive way.

        If you are unsure as to how to come up with statements that fit for you, look to work with a psychologist or licensed therapist to give you a strong start.

        3. Identify and Develop Physical Anchors

        You actually have within you resources to provide some of the most effective ways to calm yourself down in heightened moments you feel stressed and anxious. Renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Peter Levine and expert in treating stress and trauma, teaches us how techniques which do this, such as Somatic Experiencing®[1] can significantly help us calm down.

        By learning to be fully present and applying touch to certain areas of your body (e.g. forehead and heart space), you increase your capacity to self-regulate. You also learn how to attend to and release your unique symptoms that your body has been containing in a way you have not been able to before.

        Here’s one technique example:

        1. Get in a comfortable position
        2. Have your eyes open or closed, whatever feels most comfortable for you
        3. Now place one hand on your forehead, palm side flat against the skin
        4. Place the other hand, palm down across your heart space above your sternum… the flat of your chest area.
        5. Gently turn your attention to what you feel physically in the area between your two hands. Observe and just take notice of what you physically feel. Is your chest pounding? How strong are its beat and the rhythm? Do you notice any other sensations anywhere else between your two hands?
        6. Don’t try to push or resist what you’re feeling. Try to just sit with it and remain this way with your hands in place until you feel a shift, a physical one. It might take a little longer, so try to be patient.

        You might feel a change in energy flow, a change in temperature or different, less intense sensations. Just keep your hands in place until you feel some kind of shift, even if gradual.

        It might take you even 5 to 10 minutes but, riding this wave will help you to process what discomfort your body is containing. It will greatly help to release it so you gradually become calmer.

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        Purely cognitive exercises can be tough at the outset. Learning somatic experience techniques is particularly helpful because you’re engaging in exercises where you physically can feel the difference. Feeling the changes helps you increase confidence you can control and reduce the discomfort you’re feeling. You’ll be motivated to keep practicing and improving this skill you can take anywhere, anytime.

        4. Move and Get Physical

        If you’re not one to exercise, you’re robbing yourself of some very easy ways which help you calm down and reduce stress and anxiety responses. Many neuro chemical changes take place when you engage in exercise.

        At certain levels of physical exertion, your brain’s pituitary gland releases neurotransmitter endorphins. When they bind with certain opiate receptors in your brain, signals are transmuted throughout your nervous system to reduce feelings of pain and trigger feelings of euphoria. You might have heard the term ‘runner’s high’.

        For the last 20 years, University of Missouri-Columbia’s Professor Richard Cox has conducted research showing that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective at reducing anxiety and stress levels than other forms of aerobic exercise.[2] However, if you would rather slay dragons than turn up an F45 class, it’s essential you still find something that will physically shift you and alter your current mental and emotional state of mind, even just a fraction to start with. It’s 100% ok if this is not your cup of tea.

        So in a day full of back of back-to-back meetings, what can you do?

        If you’re sitting, stand. Change your posture and open your body up. Have a suite of discrete stretches you can do regularly as you deepen and engage in diaphragmatic breathing.

        If you’re looking down at your desk at work and feeling increasingly stressed, look up and change what you’re looking at. Give yourself more than a few moments to decompress.

        The main thing is to change your disposition from the one you’re in when you are experiencing anxiety and stress symptoms. You’re shaking it up to calm it down.

        5. Transform Your Unhelpful Inner Dialogue and Its Energy

        Learning cognitive restructuring techniques can truly work wonders in helping you recognize and re-frame unhelpful dialogue and negative critical thinking patterns. This involves a little preparation being transparent with yourself about what exaggerated perspectives you might ascribe to what’s happening when you’re feeling stressed and anxious.

        When you open your email inbox and see a flood of requests which require more time and energy you have for that day, dread starts to settle in and the following comes to mind: “This is impossible. How can they expect me to be able to do all this? It’s completely unreasonable!”

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        Instantly, many other thoughts that reinforce this line of thinking as well as the emotional energy of your first conscious thought start unravelling. A 4-step process you can engage to calm the eruption is:

        1. Catch and notice that first thought you had. What was it? What did you think and/or say to yourself?
        2. Recognize that what you’re feeling and be in allowance of the initial intensity of whatever those emotions are.
        3. Breath deliberately a little more deeply and slowly for a few seconds.
        4. State to yourself: “Right now (in this moment) I’m feeling overwhelmed by this, however maybe I can look at what I can make good progress and headway with as a start from here on.”

        Notice the language in step 4 is tentative, supportive, soft and not resistant nor defiant of what your original thought was. You accept your original thought, but gradually you become stronger at pivoting it.[3] You’re expanding your growth mindset language.

        It’s definitely worth working with a coach or trained therapist to learn how to tailor re-framing statements which can truly help you calm down.

        Final Thoughts

        We know, in our minds what we should do. When we’re in the thick of experiencing mental and emotional turmoil, it’s actually harder to implement what we know. In those moments, you’re unlikely to have capacity to think about what you need to do, let alone do it effectively to help you feel calmer.

        The key is to practice so that when the storm is brewing, your toolkit and supplies are in easy access. You already know your safety drill well.

        Knowing you have strategies and prepared processes up your sleeves helps you not only become better at calming yourself in amongst currently stressful situations. You have more confidence now to face more anxiety-provoking stressors because you have developed the resources to handle it.

        How you invest time and energy into getting to know your triggers and thresholds will influence how effective these strategies will work for you. We’re not denying relaxing baths or regular massages are helpful, however these band-aid-like solutions don’t really confront the root causes.

        If you truly want to turn your experience of your stress and anxiety symptoms around, dig deeper, do the groundwork and that which rattled your cage will quickly become a thing of the past.

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        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

        Reference

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