Building effective teams to achieve results is important. It determines the quality of your products and services, employee satisfaction, and ability to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. However, as leaders, there are many times we fail to pay attention to team dynamics. Instead, we often wait around for someone else to do it. When a team loses its effectiveness, it’s important to quickly get the team back on track (think, right now).
7 Tips to Build an Effective Team
1.Training. When was the last time the team received training on how to conduct effective meetings? (I’m surprised by how many people have never been trained.) Many team leaders and team members are not well trained on how to lead and participate in meetings effectively. They’ve read a book or watched a video that focused on the material side of meetings (e.g., scheduling, seating, agendas, etc.), but rarely do books and videos address the human side of meetings. Bring in an outside facilitator to train everyone on conflict resolution, brainstorming, sharing ideas and appreciating each member’s contribution. It’s important to train everyone to be an effective team leader and team member.
2.True Goals. Were the goals created with the team? Even if you said yes to this question, chances are good that a senior person’s idea ends up as the goal. Or, sometimes the team latches onto the first good idea and runs with it. True goals are simple, quantifiable, achievable, agreed upon and provide a deadline for results. And, the team is aligned with the goals. The goal meets the company’s needs. Remember, if the team members don’t feel heard or valued during the goal creation process, they will stop participating.
3.Focused Action Plans. Has the team lost its focus or do they feel there are too many distractions? Many times, teams get caught up in the shiny object syndrome and fail to stay focused on the actions required to achieve this current goal. A good team leader will meet with the team frequently, as a group and individually. The team leader keeps everyone focused on the goal and helps uncover resources needed to move forward. While the scoreboard may factually show progress is being made, sole focus on meeting the goal will hide the fact that there are team members who are stuck and have checked out of the process. It’s important to keep everyone in focused action, one step at a time.
4.Communication. Are appropriate communication resources being used? Keeping everyone up to date with what each person has committed to do and showing the progress being made is key. It reminds each member that they are an integral part of the project’s success.
5.Manage the Team. Who is the team facilitator? While teams can be self-managing, usually there is a formally designated leader; otherwise, an informal one will emerge. It’s important to have someone in charge of facilitating the meeting, making sure resources and other needs are available, and coaching everyone involved to achieve the goal.
6.Delegation. Is someone being a lone ranger? Too often, poorly trained or highly controlling team leaders fail to delegate. Stop it! If you want to truly achieve unprecedented results, get everyone involved. If a team member is being a lone ranger, it’s critical to unravel this situation quickly before it goes on too long and the team leader loses the ability to correct the situation.
7.Celebrate. When was the last time everyone was acknowledged and appreciated? Celebrate the small steps, wins and other accomplishments of the group and individual team members. Don’t forget to share brags at each and every meeting.
Review each of these seven tips and make sure they are all implemented to improve the team’s effectiveness and their ability to achieve the intended results.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2018
Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Remember, meetings can be effective, fun and rewarding! And, they require everyone to become a team facilitator. Are you ready?