Motivational Management Tip

“Coming together is a start, working together is progress, but keeping together makes us successful.”

-Henry Ford

The Power of Positive Teamwork

Most employers and businesses are looking for that magic formula when it comes to creating a successful team, as if some special ingredient takes a team from drizzle to sizzle! In evaluating what builds the best kind of team performance, many points are scored in favor of team dynamics , or the way people work when they come together as a unit. Team dynamics and the collective synergy it creates, becomes a major part of “what makes the team successful”, according to many business experts. Many efforts on the part of management are tirelessly spent in bringing the right people at the right time to the right place to insure success. Right? Not necessarily.

In every workplace, people are people. Some get along and some don't. What happens when one team member doesn't like another fellow team member, or they don't think alike or do things in similar manners? What happens when some see gray and some see black and white? What happens is the creation of an opportunity for managing conflict. When we learn to deal with people as they are, not how they could be, authentic synergy truly occurs, and an opportunity for growth begins to take root. When we learn to build performance through navigating conflict successfully, teams become more resilient and less apt to fall apart when faced with continual workplace tensions and stresses, especially when growing through change and expansion.

If you've ever been part of a team with this kind of dynamic … you know it can be hazardous to the well-being of the workplace. Team members side with one another, creating misunderstanding and hurt feelings. It can feel like total dysfunction from the onset, even when everyone attempts a collaborative effort. There's simply no accounting for personality differences, temperaments or temperamental mindsets… or is there?

When putting a team together, keep the following points in mind:

Conflicts among team members can be worked through with time and effort. Allow team members a chance to clear the air and express their viewpoints individually to team leaders. Don't evaluate or judge their feelings. Acknowledge their frustrations and support their efforts by providing valuable insights into time management, conflict resolution, and relationship building skills. Offer a listening ear, yet support the process of working through the conflict with genuine determination to help the team member find creative and workable solutions for resolving the conflict.

The team needs to know and understand why they're coming together . Get to the point by establishing goals and objectives and let the team know what's expected of them. Do it quickly and strike while the iron is hot! Great teams set the stage with positive energy that continues to build with each consecutive team effort.

Team members should understand that skills count most… not personality or temperament. Potential ability scores high when aiming to meet goals and objectives. Work on learning from each other to improve and add new skills. Value the diverse make-up of the team and build on the commonalities shared among team members.

Get the team started on the right foot! Make your time spent in planning count, and make your communications, directives and expectations, crystal clear. The Korean word for continuous improvement is KAIZEN . Make it your byword and strive for quality and excellence in everything you do as a team to achieve success together!

Know the team rules. Be perfectly clear when defining the playing rules for the team, and let the team know what's expected of them. Be clear about what will and won't be considered acceptable team behavior. For example, each team member should know what can and can't be discussed outside the group.

Put team goals and objectives in writing and accomplish them together. Ask everyone for their input when creating an initial TO DO list. This gives everyone the opportunity for buy-in and subsequent ownership when the team experiences success. Results count , and setting small goals to be achieved early in the game, gives the team a chance to celebrate success quickly. Nothing speaks louder than results, so get to it!

Use negative energy to determine what is and isn't working. Create a safe space for the team to address realistic issues and agree to disagree at the table. Commit to regrouping at the end of meeting sessions and to leave all negativity where it belongs… in the past. Forward focus is the goal of each team hash session.

Commit to using quality communication at all times. Every piece of information needs to be shared equally and without reservation among team members. This allows equanimity and discounts any perception of one-upmanship or elitism that often occurs on a team with many strong personality types. Use communication as a means to develop, refine, amend and improve projects and objectives. Set a consistent method for communicating and stick with it… no matter what! Only excellent communication!

Enjoy the journey! Use a part of each team planning session to learn more about each other and the things that make each person a valued team member. Request input based on experience and enthusiasm; in addition to any outside information each member may know which helps overall team efforts. Learn to lean in and listen when another team member speaks and watch body language. Teams pick up on collective signals, especially in the realm of leadership. They know innately who is running the show or who wants to run the show.

Acknowledge each other's successes and celebrate each other's value. Show honor to each team member by recognizing individual strengths and shoring up each other's weaknesses, allowing for encouragement and possibly change through team interaction. Recognizing value is essential in establishing peak team performance.

Eventually, the team will synergize its efforts and achieve success , disband or fold, or add new members changing the collective team dynamic. When this happens, it is important for the entire team to realize the formation of a new team has occurred.

Teamwork … Together, Educating, Activating and Motivating people to do great things with their talents, skills and abilities, and of course , together, everyone achieves more!

-Praise Leadership… At Work!™
Marti Miller
Marti Miller is a Keynote Speaker, Leadership Skills Trainer and Business Consultant, specializing in motivational management training. She can be reached at Praise
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