Top 7 Tips for Maintaining a Team ConnectionWritten by Kevin Kearns
Thousands of love songs portray sad stories of fire going out in a romantic relationship. Business teams face same danger. Members of a team can become too familiar and stuck in patterns of doing bare minimum when it comes to teamwork. Similar to song "You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore," feeling that occurs when thrill is gone is usually felt by all involved. As a leader, you have power to influence how connected your team remains over time. Follow these seven tips and you will lead your team around or even through rough spots involved with staying connected.
1. Think Big: Help your team remember why they are together. As you face day-to-day task of getting work done, reason for all effort often gets lost. In order to keep a team motivated, it is crucial that you have a higher purpose behind what you are doing. A leader must remind team members that together, they are moving toward this grand vision. If captain of ship does not seem concerned about where they are headed, why will crew?
2. Think Small: Every interaction is either a deposit or a withdrawal. As important as Big Picture is, it will mean little if team shows little value to one another on a regular basis. As leader, you must model importance of valuing each other in daily interactions. Last-minute deadlines often interrupt common courtesies - however, those times provide even more reason to acknowledge each other when you have an opportunity. Bob will not be inspired by your vision if you don't even say hello when you see him in halls.
3. Drive Fun Bus: It is easy to stay connected when you are having fun! Not to say that you need to sharpen your stand-up comedy act, but be prepared to inject some fun into team. High performing teams can burn out by focusing too much on producing. When you throw some fun into mix, team is able to recharge their batteries and keep going. A great way to add some fun is to do a relevant team building activity and discussion during your next meeting.
4. Be a Stage Mother: Educate team on group stages. It is widely accepted that groups go through stages as they grow. There is "forming" stage where everyone plays nice, not wanting to rock boat. Next comes "storming" stage when team members attempt to define what roles they will play in group. Then, comes "norming" stage which sees group settle into a standard of working together. After norming, strong groups move into "performing" stage. This is stage we want from beginning. Finally, "adjourning" stage is when group disbands, sometimes by choice, sometimes not by choice. Educating your team about natural growth stages for all teams will allow them to adjust to growing pains.
Make the Most of Your Time - Focus on StrengthsWritten by Martin Haworth
Time efficiency and business effectiveness are much better served when we focus our efforts where we are strongest – when we are aligned with our values and skills. And by delegating those parts of our skill-set which less best suited, we get best of both worlds.
Once working and focused in tune with what they do best, your people are freed up to deliver their very best performances. They encourage others to work to their strengths too. Thus, each is far more effective. By recognising this in each other, there is another benefit. Everyone realises value that differences can bring to team, business or organisation. And that is valued - people work together much more freely.
So, by challenging each other to be honest about what others can do better than they can, all benefit. Everyone is enabled to deliver what they do best, and by elevating them to work together, bond grows as each values performances where they work best.
In their excellent book, “Now Discover Your Strengths”, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman explore hugely value-creating process which many organisations have embodied in their culture, by enabling individuals to do what they do best, more of time.
The best individuals deliver exceptional performance in about just 5-6 of likely 8-10 competencies which their job requires. The enlightened ones realise they can’t do everything well and discover coping strategies for those areas which they need to deliver, but can’t, for one reason or another - simply they bring huge qualities to their role, but not everything. This fits for management roles from top to bottom of an organisation.