Do you have a strong team? Ever wondered what it takes to build a strong team? What makes a strong team so great that others wants to be a part? Here are some tips to help you move in the direction of building and maintaining your own strong team.
Build your strong team
Even if you’re working on a complex project, think small. Gather the smallest possible number of people to get the work done. Large, loosely organized teams inevitably experience problems with communication and personality clashes. With that advice in mind, start building your winning team:
- Clearly articulate your goals and visions for the future. Pick team members who believe in the cause.
- Select team members who will work well together. Team members need to trust the motives of their colleagues; ongoing conflicts can derail a project.
- Take note of the skill sets each potential team member will bring to the project. Diversity and creativity are essential ingredients for a strong team. Find people with complementary talents, including technical and functional expertise, interpersonal skills and problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
Maintain your strong team
You may face obstacles in building a strong team, but maintaining the team’s effectiveness may prove an even bigger challenge. Long-term assignments and tight deadlines test the true strength of a team. As the team leader, you can take steps to keep everyone on track:
- Remind people of your goals and highlight accomplishments—often. Keeping people happy helps ensure you won’t be alone in your mission.
- Feed team members’ egos. Each person must have enough self-confidence to respect other team members. Give each person an area in which to excel.
- Stay on the lookout for distractions and unproductive tangents. You must keep the project from going astray.
- Be alert for personality clashes and people with consistently negative attitudes. Don’t let those issues affect the team.
- Hold frequent group meetings and encourage informal interactions between group members. Celebrate successes. Your team members shouldn’t need nametags to recognize one another.
- Facilitate communication between all group members. When people don’t communicate, work gets duplicated and projects can halt.
- Empower your team members. Allow others to make decisions, or even take part in hiring new team members. Assign tasks for groups of two team members to finish together so that everyone can make contributions.
- Create an environment in which team members can practice and make mistakes. Undue pressure can wreak havoc with productivity.
Manage conflict among your team
Even teams that work like a well-oiled machine break down once in a while. But conflicts don’t have to ruin a project. Try to anticipate problems, and when they do arise remember to:
- Attack the problem, not the people.
- Focus on the task at hand.
- Encourage people to accept ownership for their role.
- Hold a debriefing meeting for the whole team to discuss “lessons learned” and how to avoid similar situations.
- Teamwork always poses challenges. You can use those challenges to help create a successful product.
VP of Human Resources