“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan
Building a successful team is not always easy. Just grouping talented individuals together does not mean the team will be successful. A good team is way beyond just that. When individuals have to work together for a common purpose, there are many factors that can come into play and derail the team’s cohesion.
These factors include ego problems, personal bias, insecurities of team members, etc. A team which was once tipped to become an earth-shattering one can easily fall into shambles if these factors are overlooked. But building a team is not like performing a brain surgery either. If you are willing to adapt to the changes and invest your time and effort into your team, building a solid team is not particularly difficult.
Let’s explore the five key ways you can make your team a successful one.
1. Avoid personal bias
It is a harsh reality that our attitude and behavior toward other people can be influenced as much by our instinctive feelings as by our rational thought processes. We might think we are making the best decision for the team but we could just as easily be subconsciously favoring a particular person without much rational thought.
Personal bias brings out feelings of rivalry and unwanted competition in the team. This may have a lasting effect on team unity and motivation. You can mitigate personal bias by increasing your awareness of the situation and analyzing the conundrum from different perspectives. Keeping an open mind about others’ opinions also helps a great deal. Look for opportunities to mediate and resolve minor disputes, and always encourage members to see a broader picture.
2. Facilitate team communication
Communication is vital for any team. There should be a flow of information from one team member to another, but this does not mean you should be organizing meetings every time. Instead, having valuable discussions on the opinions of team members, taking suggestions, and enquiring about members’ problems is much more fruitful.
Also, pay close attention to their complaints and offer help whenever you can. Communicate thoroughly, and do not involve your ego or sense of superiority any time you are having a work-related conversation.
3. Understand the team’s psychology
Each individual member of the team has his or her own thought process. Each person can have a different response to a situation and react accordingly. Motivating each member the same way may not work all the time.
Beware of the unspoken feelings of each member. Pay attention to small details like body language, underlying linguistic semantics, eagerness to communicate, etc. Reading good team building books will help you a great deal with understanding and interpreting the behaviors of members of the team.
4. Use team consensus
Using team consensus for decision making and problem solving is an effective way to assure your team members that you’re taking their opinions into account. Team consensus helps you make better decisions and promotes the productivity of all team members.
Establish your own method of arriving at a consensus. Having positive discussions about the pros and cons of a proposal can help to eliminate any dissatisfaction. Consensus keeps democracy on the team alive and makes sure everyone is committed to the team’s cause.
5. Encourage members to listen and brainstorm
There are many ways to tackle a problem. You can be a hard leader and make the team follow your decisions, or you can brainstorm ideas with team members at different stages of the operation.
The second idea is much more effective than the first. Note that employees are often afraid to disagree with each other and that this may result in a mediocre problem-solving process in your team.
Encourage debates and ask team members to brainstorm new ideas about how to move forward or how to solve the existing problems. Keeping their minds constantly ticking is how you’ll spur your team on to better results.
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