How do you get the best out of your team? How do you take a group of individuals with individual goals, skills and personalities and have them work together to achieve a common goal and purpose?

Well if it was that easy there wouldn’t be so many books written about team building –would there or is it really that easy? Have we lost sight of the trees for the forest?

Perhaps it’s not getting the team working together that is the challenge but how effective they are that is the question.

Some thoughts to ponder on teams and team building:

• The leader sets the tone of the team.

• The team individuals bring many different personalities and skills to the team.

• Putting the correct team together and balancing the skills and personalities is essential. Get it right the first time if possible.

• You may not have a choice of team members. If you don’t it is important that you quickly and thoroughly get to know your team and their skills.

• As the team leader you don’t have to be good at everything; that is what the team is for. You will find that other members in your team will fill the gaps in your knowledge and skills. This is a case of the whole being better that the individual.

• Communication is essential –without it you will have ineffective teams or in other words chaos. Communication is one of the least addressed items in team building. All agree it is essential but it usually comes a poor second in terms of training and addressing ineffective communication.

• Learn to delegate and trust.

• Positive supportive feedback – cultivate giving feedback and be ready to absorb feed back given to you without being defensive.

• Listen – listen to what is being said and more importantly, perhaps, to what is not being said.

• As a team leader maintain a balance between being too domineering and being too friendly.

• Sometimes you have to make decisions – learn where and how.

• There is a common saying “There is no I in Team”. However, someone has to keep the team focussed on the goals and provide the vision. Don’t abrogate your responsibilities. The important thing is that you remember that teams work better when there is acknowledgement of everyone’s contribution to the outcome.

• As a team leader you can’t be nice all the time. There is a balance between being part of the team and being the leader. Find your balance.

Hope you have found these random thoughts on teams of interest. There are many more and I am sure you may have some to contribute as well.

Trish @ Trischel

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