How well does your team work together? If the answer is “not very”, don’t give up just yet – there are ways to boost your team.
Getting people to collaborate can be a challenge. But if you want your small business to succeed, it’s crucial that you work on methods to boost team dynamics. To help get you and your team on the right track, here are five simple strategies to use.
Define the purpose and goals
What’s your team’s purpose? What goals will you set to make sure this purpose is achieved? Before working together, it’s important that each member of the team not only understands the overall mission but also what exactly his or her role will be in it.
In modern professional teams, there is usually a double up of skills and abilities. That’s why it’s important to assign specific goals to each team member. This helps establish expectations and structure, as well as avoid confusion and disagreement.
Make time for face-to-face communication
In an age where email, texting, and social media reign supreme, face-to-face communication suffers. When it comes to boosting team dynamics, this can be problematic, as the best ideas are developed by people interacting with each other directly.
Find this hard to believe? MIT’s Human Dynamics laboratory has the findings to prove it. By studying and analyzing a diverse group of teams across a range of industries, they found that the most valuable form of communication is face-to-face. They also found conference and calls and video conferencing to be the next most effective, but that they lose value as more participants are included.
The take-home message? Talk more and type less if you want to inspire real teamwork within your business.
Address problems quickly
The longer you leave problems to fester, the more entrenched they get. Addressing a problem quickly is one of the most important strategies for managing and improving team dynamics.
If you notice a team member being problematic – or someone else in the team notifies you – get the bottom of the issue straight away. Instead of being pushy and aggressive, speak to the person directly and professionally, leaving room for open discussion and reflection. It’s your job to help guide them in the right direction, not enforce it.
No matter how big or small your team is, success requires diversity. The more skills and experiences people have, the more they can draw from them to complete goals and achieve the team’s purpose.
While building a diverse team is important, it’s more important that your team understands and appreciates the power of this diversity. They should know that the more ideas and insights there are on the table, the better they can work together.
Ask for feedback and celebrate success
The greatest leaders understand there’s always room for improvement – especially in themselves. As well as giving your team feedback, make sure you ask for it in return. Not only will this help uncover flaws in your leadership, it will also give your team members the confidence to speak up and have their opinions heard.
When things are going well, you should make a note of it. Recognition is a great tool to use when your team needs a boost. Make sure the group, and individuals within the group, know that you appreciate their hard work.
The building blocks
Boosting team dynamics is a constantly evolving process. But as long as you have the basics in order, every new challenge and project will become easier to manage. At the end of the day, you’re only as good as your team – so it’s worth getting them to where they should be.