No one says team building and team working is easy. It takes work to get a team functioning well, especially if it is matrix-managed, geographically dispersed and highly dependent upoin other teams. There are specific strategies that help individuals get the most out of teamwork, all contributing to the success of the team:
1. Articulate Goals.
Rather than assuming team members know the desired result, make sure specific goals are clearly articulated. Using annual, quarterly and monthly strategic plans, you can ensure energies and efforts are working in the right direction.
2. Embrace Change.
The nature of teamwork is that your job will constantly change, You will probably be a member of many teams, encompassing many different personalities and working styles. You need the flexibility to adapt to different situations.
3. Communicate well.
Be clear and concise. Develop a process to enable you to plan, record, follow-up and retrieve information easily. Avoid excessive use of Email – keep it in its place. Also keep communications organised and documented, preferably in a common format between ‘My Documents’ and your Inbox.
4. Get more out of meetings.
Team meetings are a vital element in an interdependent environment. Improve the productivity of team meetings by developing your meeting skills. Remember that our research shows that 25% of meetings are considered a complete waste of time. That represents, on average, 3 hours a week for each team member!
5. Commit to learning, your own and your team’s
You will be a better team member if you have relevant skills. This mean you have to be continually learning, whether it’s through continuing education, using Learning Logs, training programs or reading. By learning how to communicate or manage more effectively, you can work more effectively in teams.
6. Learn to be both leader and follower.
As you move from team to team, your role will change. Depending on the dynamics of the individuals in the team, you could be a leader in one team and a follower in another. No one individual is always the boss in a team environment. Leaders who can’t follow, and followers who are unable to lead, will have limited value in teams.
7. Trust your team mates.
You can’t do it better on your own! While individuals have different strengths and styles, you must trust other team members to fulfil their functions adequately. This trust will build strong relationships and strong teams.
8. Look for win-win opportunities.
Forget ideas of winning and losing. Just because one group wins it doesn’t mean the other group has to lose. Use the creativity of the group to develop situations where you can win because someone else also wins.
Of course, you can always contact us directly to tailor a support programme to your needs.