The second instalment is a set of two articles that offer an entirely different perspective on team building that is effective, reduced from an original presentation by its author John Roberts. John is a Freelance Training Consultant, and Director of JayrConsulting Ltd. Part 1 ( Another Brick in the Wall ) covered the process of making the decision to build teams from scratch. Part 2 addresses the mindset that must be in place to lead the team efficiently. The ideas expressed are personal opinions built up from many years of experience in the Electronics/Aerospace industry, the Armed Forces, the Telecoms industry and the Training industry. It is not a guarantee of a 100 100% solution that is applicable or suitable for all scenarios; However, the idea is aimed to encourage people to look beyond the norm and to question the “normal” method of conducting business.
1. Honesty is the Key!
It’s that easy! The fundamental element for managing and establishing truly productive teams is, to be honest! It sounds easy, but it could be among the most difficult tasks to carry out because of the current workplace culture and the people’s long-term condition to them. If you’re not prepared to make this change and change, you’ll only be able to create teams that simply pay lip fees’ towards the concept that teambuilding is a necessity.
Honesty starts right here! You shouldn’t try to appear honest or only apply only a few aspects, whether as a member of a team or as a leader of the team. If you’re not willing to commit 100%, give it up, as everything else depends on it to function properly!
There are two distinct aspects of honesty in a team scenario, and each is equally important:
(a) Honesty with others
It is important to be open with everyone. If you notice that someone isn’t performing correctly, tell them as quickly as you can and aid them to overcome the issue. If they are performing well, tell the person as quickly as you can and assist them in achieving even greater results.
If there is good news about the project/team/company-Tell people as soon as possible, without hiding things and deliver praise where appropriate.
If there is BAD news about the project/team/company-Tell people as soon as possible, without hiding things and discuss what can be done about it at a team and personal level-ask for input and ideas to resolve things. The majority of people can handle situations with ease, so they feel that they are kept up-to-date and engaged.
Be sure you’re contributing to the team’s work, according to the best of your abilities. If your team is having to take over your work, You aren’t taking the time to tell them what you are doing.
If you do make an error, admit it as quickly as possible, and seek assistance to correct the issue. If you are trying to cover up your mistakes, you’re not honest, which will result in more work for other people over time.
Don’t spread the rumours! It’s among the most effective ways to destroy trust within an organization’s culture. If you don’t believe something is true, don’t repeat it!
(b) Honesty about yourself
For many people, this is incredibly difficult to attain because of long-term conditioning within a competitive area, but once it’s begun, it can continue to grow so long as everyone is committed to the lasting success of the process of building a team. It is important to take a look at yourself honestly work to correct your own behaviour patterns and weaknesses.
If you are struggling with something, let someone know and seek assistance. There is no perfect person, and everyone needs help from time to time. In a team-oriented atmosphere, nobody is going to be able to criticize anyone who asks for help. It’s in the opposite case if it assists in completing tasks.
Be open about your abilities and abilities (starting from your c.v. !). If not, you’ll be exposed at some point; however, by the time you are, you could have let many others down!
Do not steal ideas and credit from others and then present them to be yours. Anything you gain from it is just a short-term benefit and is one of the fastest ways to destroy trust within your team.
Examine your commitment and work ethic on a regular basis. Are you truly putting in 100 100% effort every single day? If not, do you require assistance, or are you simply lazy?
Don’t lie! The virus is infectious within a working group environment. If you’d like to take a day off, then you should have an off day and don’t continue to bury your grandmother!
Except when you’ve been wrong during a discussion and apologize!
Do not complain and rant about work. If you don’t feel comfortable there, leave!
Communication is among the essential elements of effective teams. For it to be successful, communication must be ongoing and totally OPEN for all teammates and between team leaders and the team. There shouldn’t be any secrets. The team needs to be aware of what they’re affected by corporate policies and decisions. The team members need to be aware of whether they are following the correct procedure. The team leader must know if the team members have any suggestions or concerns that should be addressed. People are more responsive when they are aware of the facts, even when they hear negative news! (I have a team in which everyone agreed to accept a 10% pay cut to keep the team member from losing their job, and the financial numbers were made clear to them in a transparent manner!)
This doesn’t mean that you must hold interminable formal group gatherings! The team members must be motivated to speak to one another and your team’s leader every single moment the time. A great team leader will make sure to set aside the time each day (YES, you can accomplish this when you’re organised! ) just to walk together and communicate with their team. The more efficient your communication and the more meetings you’ll need to hold!
The trust between team members as well as between the team members and the leader must be absolute. If you don’t trust your team members to perform their work, what are they doing on your team? If you trust them to perform their duties and you trust them to do it, you must give authority over them and let them make the choices and be accountable for their choices! Team members need to have faith in the leader of the team – in that they’ve got their best interests in mind and are focused on team rather than individual achievement. As a team, everyone has to trust each other to live their lives. That will only happen if there is confidence in your team members.
4. Conflicts and compromise
Teams are made up of PEOPLE! There are bound to be conflicts and even confrontations. They should not be randomly imposed upon. People need to be taught that they will need to make concessions with each other so that they can continue to function as a cohesive team. Everyone should be encouraged not to hide conflicts and instead resolve them and reach a solution. The leader of the group should stay on top of conflicts and assist in solving them when necessary. Do not expect your team to never disagree – they’re diverse individuals as in the family, there’s nothing wrong with having a healthy disagreement as long as the issue is dealt with
5. Chinese Councils
ALL team members must have the ability to contribute to making decisions and plans for the team. The members of the team should be treated with respect and as equals. The team leader should not be placed in the position simply because they are “better” but because they are different from those around them. The team leader isn’t the only one who may be able to think of good ideas and must always be willing to consider input from others and, when necessary, modify plans and take decisions about the team’s goals and objectives. But, everyone must be aware that at the end of the day, the leader of the team has the sole responsibility and thus has the final say on any decision, after taking into account the suggestions of others in the team. This should be a routine.
6. Evaluation and reward
Forget about ‘Annual Assessments’ Pay rises and competency grids depending on the performance of each individual! What is important is “Is the team performing well?” The leader of the team must keep track of how the team members are doing and provide feedback and guidance as needed as the project develops. It’s not worth waiting for it to a later date to let team members know that they aren’t achieving the goals or congratulating you on your back when things are good. It is essential to provide constant feedback with sincerity!
Rewards should be based on the accomplishments (or failing!) of the entire team, not just individuals, to ensure that everyone is motivated to ensure that everyone is working together to accomplish the goals of the group, not seeking to get smarty points in their own personal growth. (This will not work in a sales setting, which is the reason salespeople are more likely to work in teams instead of as teams!)
All team members have to be “Buddies” to the other team members. It doesn’t mean you must be friends with each other or even socialize with one another! It means that members of the team must help one another at all times. Everybody has “off days”, and members of the team should recognize when someone else is not doing their job and provide assistance and support to help them through the time. Sometimes all it takes is a joke or comment to get someone to take a stand, or they might need assistance with a specific task that is putting pressure on them. Everyone should be in the habit of “watching out for one another. There’s no shame in asking or offering help; We all need help at times. We all have our own strengths and talents, and members of the team should be motivated to use their strengths to reach the goals of the group as efficiently as they can. I’ve never been very adept when it came to creating diagrams for presentations; however, I had a member of my team who was extremely proficient in this area, and I would constantly request her to review my work to ensure that I could come up with the best product.
8. No Shame – No Blame
Everyone makes MISTAKES! The trick is to create an environment in which individuals aren’t shy about admitting that they committed mistakes! So, errors are quickly rectified and, most important, and they can be learned from! If someone does make a mistake (deletes the file or anything else), it is not a good idea for people to think that they’ll be criticized or penalised in any way. They must inform who they are and, if needed, get help to correct the mistake immediately. (Needs honesty, as mentioned previously mentioned!)
Might you have observed something while reading this article? No jargon, no ‘hype’, no ‘games’, no ‘exercises’, no ‘concepts’! It’s not necessary! Successful teams revolve around PEOPLE who have natural talents, abilities, capabilities and relationships. The process of building a team that is successful is very similar to having a happy family, and many of the core values are similar – however, it is not possible to achieve success without HONESTY, as mentioned above! Keep in mind that this is likely to be the most difficult thing to accomplish because of humanity’s nature and also the pressures that individuals are subjected to in the typically highly competitive workplaces, but it’s worth the effort for those who really want to create a team that is effective.
Take a look at all the above. How much of it is applicable to your team at work? Do you have the ability to implement this? Make sure you start with HONESTY, then it won’t succeed, and you’ll forever be doing the routine for teambuilding!
As always, I am open to any feedback. The entire purpose of this conference is to stimulate people into thinking about what they do within their teams and how it can be improved.