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How to Form an Unstoppable Team with Your Colleagues for Massive Success

How to Form an Unstoppable Team with Your Colleagues for Massive Success

Have you ever heard the tired old cliché “there’s no ‘I’ in team”? Well, it may be a phrase that makes you roll your eyes, but when it comes to group dynamics in the workplace, it pays to concentrate on improving these forces to create an unstoppable team.

What Are Group Dynamics and How They Are Important to Team Cooperation

A phrase coined in the 1940s by Kurt Lewin, a social psychologist, group dynamics [1] refer to the roles and behaviors people take on when they work in a group—and how those factors affect the team as a whole. Group dynamics affect everything from productivity to morale, and for a team to be to be successful, it’s important for these dynamics to be positive and supportive, rather than toxic and disconnected.

Some of the most well-known roles people often take on in a group setting can quickly deteriorate communication and stymie creativity. Some people take on the role of the aggressor, constantly disagreeing with others who speak up. Variations on this stereotype are those who are constantly negative and critical, or constantly try to seek recognition for themselves. Others take on the opposite role: remaining as quiet and passive as possible, contributing as little as possible.

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Teams with poor group dynamics also often fall into groupthink—defaulting to one way of thinking because it’s easier than proper communication. Groupthink kills innovation and creativity, and is often spurred on by poor leadership.

How Your Team Can Benefit from Applying the Concept

The benefits of good group dynamics are massive. Team members who can trust one another are more likely to support or question ideas based on their own thoughts and feelings, rather than on what the group as a whole thinks, leading to greater innovation and creativity. Morale is generally higher in teams with positive group dynamics, leading to improved productivity and employee retention. Team members may actually start looking forward to meetings instead of dreading them!

There really is no downside to improving group dynamics, but doing so does take some work. You can’t implement changes and immediately expect them to work—it’s a process that takes time. However, it’s well worth the effort to bring the team closer together.

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6 Effective Ways to Promote Positive Group Dynamics

Now that you know how important positive group dynamics are, it’s time to take action. Here are some tips for bringing your team closer together and reaping the benefits!

Understand Your Team

Different personalities on your team will heavily influence the group dynamics that naturally occur. Start by observing the different skills and traits your team members bring to the table so you can leverage those skills in the group. Introverted team members may have great ideas but don’t speak up much, and may need a little coaxing, for example.

Set Expectations

Don’t let your team meetings be a free-for-all. Set up expectations for each team member’s role, the meeting itself, and the format it will take. Amazon’s CEO[2] has set up an unusual practice for getting thoughtful input from all team members: each meeting starts with every member reading the meeting’s agenda for 20-30 minutes before making comments. Shaking up the traditional PowerPoint and uneven input of a traditional meeting can lead to great results. Get creative with your meetings to ensure that everyone has a voice!

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Distribute Delegation

Knowing your team is important when delegating new projects. Distributing delegation based on each employees’ skills, interests, and drive is very important for leveraging all the talent on your team and improving overall equality.

Promote Diverse Viewpoints

Part of this tip involves bringing a diverse workforce[3] on your team if at all possible. People with different backgrounds bring something new to the table, and can help the team avoid groupthink. Different age groups, ethnicities, and experiences can all help breathe new life into group dynamics, so it’s important to encourage everyone to contribute.

Use Team-Building Exercises

Team-building exercises[4] may make most people roll their eyes, but there’s a reason they continue to see use: they can help build trust on a team. Trust falls may have fallen out of fashion (and that’s not a bad thing!), but there are so many exercises you can use to help improve group dynamics and welcome new members into the group.

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Don’t Allow Problems to Fester

If you start to notice hostility or toxicity within the group, it’s crucial to address it right away. This is where emotional intelligence[5] is very helpful—use your empathy and put yourself in the shoes of your team. Why are problems popping up? How can you solve them before they get worse? Allowing problems to work themselves out is rarely effective—you need to promote good communication and deal with problems before they undo all the progress you’ve made toward positive group dynamics.

Reference

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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