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5 Effective Ways to Build a Successful Team

5 Effective Ways to Build a Successful Team

“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Featured photo credit: Wikipedia via upload.wikimedia.org

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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