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

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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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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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