Companies operate best when everyone is working together as a team. Teams do not exist because they show on your org chart and you say they are a team. As leaders, we bring a group of people together and develop them into a team.
People have a natural desire to be part of a tribe. Most people are not content with just having a job. They want to be part of something. They want to feel that they are contributing to the achievement of a goal or success. They want to be recognized for the results they produce.
What Makes A Team:
Too often, we do not consider what it takes to create a team. It takes understanding each member to make a team click. Teams are made up of individuals with unique skills, personalities, motivations, and needs.
To start, have the right people on a team. You do not want them to be the same. Each person brings skills and a perspective that makes the team stronger. Some team members are leaders. Some are quiet. Some see the big picture. Others are great with the details.
Everyone needs to feel safe, cared for, recognized, and supported. Regardless, they must feel that they belong.
Teams Reflect Their Manger
How do teams get to the place that they are a functioning team? Teams reflect their leader (coach). Change begins with their manager. Your perspective, leadership style, and efforts can build a team – a team that works, wins, and everyone is a player. You create the culture in which a team can thrive and perform.
Steps To Take
- A vision worth striving for: People want to be part of something that matters. Inspire them with a vision. Define roles and responsibilities, so everyone is clear how they are to contribute.
- Set Goals. Measure Progress. Coach to Win: Define what success is for the team and each position on the team. Everyone wants to know the target they are expected to meet. Make sure you and each person have a way to measure their progress. Meet with the team and each individual regularly to coach them. Each person needs to have personal and professional goals. Find this out and help them create their plan to get there.
- Be Consistent: Be consistent in your leadership. Include fairness, kindness, care, listening, clear expectations, and nurturing a sense of belonging.
- Feel Heard: Make sure each team member’s voice is heard. Spend time listening to people individually and in team discussions. You may need to make space for a quieter member to share their point of view. Listen. Use your intuition.
- Inclusion: Build a culture of inclusion, making sure no one is left out. Take action to keep everyone engaged.
- Communication: Model ways to communicate. That is easy when things are going well. Model how to express frustration constructively. Adopt the perspective that it is rarely “a people” problem. Most often, frustrations, yours and team members are due to a lack of clarity or lack of an effective system. State problems and find solutions from that perspective. What’s missing that is causing the frustration?
How do you know if you have a team, a whole team? Everyone is engaged. Everyone is making progress toward the goal. Each team member contributes to innovation or improvement.
It is never too soon to build the culture in which a team and team members can thrive. Don’t let things slide. If it does not feel right (trust your intuition), then something is wrong. Work with your team to find a solution.
Adopt the perspective that people work with you, not for you to achieve a result. See how this changes how you lead.