Category: Teamwork

The Ultimate Guide to Team Building and Teamwork

For most of us, teamwork is a part of everyday life. Whether it’s at home, in the community, or at work, we are often expected to be a functional part of a performing team. This guide will encourage you to explore the different aspects of a team, as well as ways that you can become a top-notch team performer.

We will be covering the following topics in our ultimate guide to team building and team work (click on a heading to go directly to that section):

Defining a Successful Team

Defining Success as a Team

Success is determined by a wide range of factors. When we are given a project or an assignment we are also usually given a metric to which we can gauge the success of it. Having a strong team will benefit any organization and will lead to more successes than not.

What is a Team?

A team is a group of people formed to achieve a goal. Teams can be temporary, or indefinite. With individuals sharing responsibility, the group as a whole can take advantage of all of the collective talent, knowledge, and experience of each team member.

Team building is an organized effort to improve team effectiveness.

An Overview of Tuckman and Jensen’s Four-Phase Model

Educational psychologist Bruce Wayne Tuckman, Ph.D. was charged by his boss at the Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda MD with a review of 50 articles about team behavior. From this body of work, Dr. Tuckman conceived his theory of group developmental processes in 1965.

The Forming Stage:  Groups initially concern themselves with orientation accomplished primarily through testing. Such testing serves to identify the boundaries of both interpersonal and task behaviors. Coincident with testing in the interpersonal realm is the establishment of dependency relationships with leaders, other group members, or pre‑existing standards. It may be said that orientation, testing, and dependence constitute the group process of forming.

The Storming Stage: The second point in the sequence is characterized by conflict and polarization around interpersonal issues, with concomitant emotional responding in the task sphere. These behaviors serve as resistance to group influence and task requirements and may be labeled as storming.

The Norming Stage: Resistance is overcome in the third stage in which in-group feeling and cohesiveness develop, new standards evolve, and new roles are adopted. In the task realm, intimate, personal opinions are expressed. Thus, we have the stage of norming.

The Performing Stage: Finally, the group attains the fourth and final stage in which interpersonal structure becomes the tool of task activities. Roles become flexible and functional, and group energy is channeled into the task. Structural issues have been resolved, and structure can now become supportive of task performance. This stage can be labeled as performing.

In 1977 Dr. Tuckman, collaborating with Mary Ann Jensen, proposed an update to the model, termed Adjourning.  It describes the process for terminating group roles, task completion, and the reduction of dependencies.  This stage has also been called “mourning”, especially if the team’s dissolution is unplanned.  The first four stages are the most commonly used parts of the process.*

* Smith, M. K. (2005) ‘Bruce W. Tuckman – forming, storming, norming and performing in groups, the encyclopedia of informal education, www.infed.org/thinkers/tuckman.htm.   © Mark K. Smith 2005

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Types of Teams

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a team as a number of persons associated together in work or activity.   Teams are formed for many purposes.  Examples include project teams, ad-hoc teams, quality improvement teams, and task forces.  Sometimes the team is formed to work on a goal as an adjunct to a traditional hierarchy in an organization.  At other times, the team is designed to replace the hierarchy.

Several roles help to keep a team operating smoothly.

Team Leader

  • Moves the team to accomplish its task
  • Provides a conducive environment for getting the work done (location, resources)
  • Communicates with the team

Team Facilitator

  • Makes things happen with ease
  • Helps the group with the process
  • Enables the group to produce the “how” decisions

Note:  Facilitators may be members or non-members of the team.

Team Recorder

  • Writes down the team’s key points, ideas and decisions
  • Documents the team’s process, discussions, and decisions

Time Keeper

  • Monitors how long the team is taking to accomplish its tasks
  • Provides regular updates to the team on how well or poorly they are using their time
  • Collaborates with the team leader, facilitator and others to determine new time schedules if the agenda has to be adjusted

Team Members

  • Displays enthusiasm and commitment to the team’s purpose
  • Behaves honestly; maintain confidential information behind closed doors
  • Shares responsibility to rotate through other team roles
  • Shares knowledge and expertise and not withhold information
  • Asks questions

Self-Directed Teams

A self-directed team is a team that is responsible for a whole product or process.  The team plans the work and performs it, managing many of the tasks supervision or management might have done in the past.  A facilitator (selected by the team or an outside individual) helps the group get started and stay on track.  The facilitator’s role decreases as the team increases its ability to work together effectively.

E-Teams

An e-team is a group of individuals who work across space and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology. Members have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose, have interdependent performance goals, and share an approach to work for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.

Geographically dispersed teams allow organizations to hire and retain the best people regardless of location.  An e-team does not always imply telecommuters, individuals who work from home. Many virtual teams in today’s organizations consist of employees both working at home and in small groups in the office, but in different geographic locations.

The benefits of an e-team approach are:

There are a few caveats when using e-teams.  They frequently operate from multiple time zones, so it is important to make sure that there is some overlapping work time.  In addition, unless a camera is used for meetings, working virtually means that there is no face to face body language to enhance communications.  Therefore, intra-team communications must be more formal than with a team whose members meet physically.  Care also needs to be taken to make sure no one is left out of the communications loop just because he or she is not visible.  E-teams demand a high trust culture.

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The First Stage of Team Building – Forming

The First Stage of Team Development – Forming

What makes up a good team? Well, that question is open to interpretation, but we will start with the first step in the team building process which is forming. We will discuss what makes up that stage and how each person in the team fits into the process.

Hallmarks of This Stage

When a new team forms, it concerns itself with becoming oriented.  It does this through testing.  It tests to discover the boundaries of interpersonal and task behavior. At the same time, the members are establishing dependency relationships with leaders, fellow team members, or any standards that existed when the group formed. The behaviors of orientation, testing, and dependence become the process called Forming.

Members behave independently when the team forms.   While there may be good will towards fellow members, unconditional trust is not yet possible.

What to Do As a Leader

Strong leadership skills are essential in the Forming stage.  The team leader must:

  • Provide an environment for introductions
  • Create a climate where participants can begin to build rapport
  • Present a solid first agenda so that the goals for the team are clear.

What to Do As a Follower

Because the members of a new team may experience uncertainty and apprehension, it’s important to help team members feel comfortable and that they are a part of the group. In addition, helping team members enhance their listening skills will allow them to focus more clearly on the objectives, thereby helping to maintain interest and enthusiasm for the work of the team.

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The Second Stage of Team Building – Storming

We will look at the Storming phase where the team focuses on their objective. This is the reason the team was created, and we will break down where the leaders and followers fit into this stage. Team members will now begin to fill certain rolls and the team is starting to come together.

The Hallmarks of This Stage

In the Storming phase, the team starts to address the objective(s), suggesting ideas.  It empowers itself to share leadership. Different ideas may compete for consideration, and if badly managed, this phase can be very destructive for the team.  Egos emerge and turf wars occur. In extreme cases, the team can become stuck in this phase.

If a team is too focused on consensus, they may decide on a plan which is less effective to complete the task for the sake of the team. This carries its own set of challenges. It is essential that a team has strong facilitative leadership during this phase.

What to Do As a Leader

Team conflict is normal in this phase, and is a catalyst for creativity. But the leader must address any conflict immediately and directly so issues don’t fester. Once you understand two sides to an issue, you can help the team generate a win-win solution.  Assertive communication is an important skill during this phase of the group’s evolution.  It is also important to help team members continue to build trust.

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The Third Stage of Team Building – Norming

The Third Stage of Team Development – Norming

By now the team should be in place and everyone has their role with progress beginning on the objectives. Goals have been set and people are now beginning to work on their tasks.

The Hallmarks of This Stage

As the team moves out of the Storming phase, it enters the Norming phase. This tends to be a move towards harmonious working practices.  Teams begin agreeing on the rules and values by which they operate. In the ideal situation, teams begin to trust themselves during this phase as they accept the vital contributions of each member toward achieving the team’s goals.

What to Do As a Leader

As individual team members take greater responsibility, team leaders can take a step back from the leadership role at this stage.  It is an opportune time to provide team members with task and process tools, or even an energizer to keep enthusiasm levels high.

What to Do As a Follower

Because team members have gained some mutual trust, they are freer to focus on process and task. Being a link in a chain is a great way to visualize followers in this stage. If one link is not pulling its weight, or is not as strong as the other links the chance of success is lessened. Everyone needs to work together.

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The Fourth Stage of Team Building – Performing

The Fourth Stage of Team Development – Performing

The team should now be well into their work and progress made on their objectives. Communication is going well and team members are sharing knowledge and working well together.

Hallmarks of this Stage

Once teams move from Norming to Performing, they are identified by high levels of independence, motivation, knowledge, and competence. Decision making is collaborative and dissent is expected and encouraged as there will be a high level of respect in the communication between team members.

What to Do As a Leader

Since the team is functioning in a highly independent way in the Performing phase, the leader shifts partially into a support and mentoring role to provide task or process resources to help the team complete its objectives.

What to Do As a Follower

Because the Performing stage implies high interpersonal trust, knowledge, and competence, participants can perform higher level analyses to support decisions toward team objectives.

A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is a simple tool that allows specific ideas to be easily categorized to help support the adoption of a solution to an objective.

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Team Building Activities

Team Building Activities

Team building is an organized effort to improve team effectiveness.  All members of the team must be committed to the idea in order for the effort to be effective. Team building can be indicated for any team or for a work team that is considered to be” in trouble”. Team building implies hard work that continues on after the initial training session.

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Team Building Activities

The Benefits of Team Building Activities:

  • Teambuilding improves productivity and motivation.
  • Teams will gain and increase ability to solve problems.
  • Teambuilding helps break down personal and political barriers and allows for rapport building.
  • The process can help level the playing field between outgoing and shy team members.
  • Participating in teambuilding can help teams overcome performance problems.

See more benefits of team building here

The Disadvantages of Team Building Activities:

  • Teambuilding requires expert facilitation in order to be successful. Not every team leader has innate facilitation skills.
  • Activities can be time-consuming for teams with a short-term charter.  And if team members are part-time, they may have conflicting feelings about the time the teambuilding takes.
  • If several levels of management are on the team, those members may be reluctant to open up.
  • Conducting teambuilding activities electronically or by conference cannot be as effective face-to-face sessions.
  • Some teambuilding exercises involve touching or physical movement, which can make some people uncomfortable.

Find out what to do when team building activities go wrong

Team Building Activities That Won’t Make People Cringe

There are many choices of activities and techniques to foster team building.  Which you choose depends upon your assessment of the team, the skill sets of the members, the amount of available time, geographical considerations or constraints, and the team’s objectives. 

Choosing a Location for Team Building

A teambuilding session can be intense, and often involves games or other physical exercises.  It’s important, therefore to select the location carefully to promote the best possible learning outcome.  Regardless of whether you hold your teambuilding session on or off site, there are some important considerations to explore.

Click here for the best team building venues in South Africa

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Making the Most of Team Meetings

Team meetings are extremely important in team building and facilitation.  It is very important that they are well structured and have a set purpose and time. When a meeting is run well it is a fantastic tool as it provides a forum where a lot of information can be given to a lot of people in a short amount of time. Issues can be addressed and action plans set into play.

Setting the Time and the Place

Giving thought to time and place considerations for a team meeting can go a long way toward producing a more effective meeting outcome.  Below are some elements to think about.

  • Is the location convenient for participants?
  • Quiet.  Is the meeting going to be held in an open environment?  Near the plant?
  • Is this an e-team meeting?  Or a meeting with members in remote locations or different time zones?
  • What time of day is best?
  • Are there time zone considerations for e-teams or remote participants?
  • For what other interruptions and distractions can you anticipate and plan?

Trying the 50-Minute Team Meeting

In some companies, meetings are stacked up on the hour like planes in the landing pattern at O’Hare Airport. The 50-minute meeting concept is simple; instead of a full 60-minute meeting, why not give people time for a bio break, a fresh cup of coffee, and “commuting time” to the next meeting?

50-minute meetings also help manage:

You can’t always have a 50 minute meeting, but if you’re meeting will run several hours, you could have a connected series of 50 minute meetings. The extra 10 minutes in each hour — set at a consistent clock time such as 50 minutes after the hour — could allow for stretches, breaks, or a quick e-mail session.

Using Celebrations of All Sizes

The team just finished a ten-month project to implement SAP in a small manufacturing company. The project delivered on time, and under budget.  It’s time to celebrate! Celebrations can take many forms.  A checklist of elements to consider can help you decide how best to say thanks.

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Solving Problems as a Team

Solving Problems as a Team

One of the most common objectives of a team is to solve a certain problem. It is usually why a team is created. Team members bring a diverse set of skills to the team and this provides a great scenario and the best chance in finding a solution. Because the team is comprised of individuals that bring a unique skill set, it provides the team with a “the whole is greater than its parts” setup which is a valuable tool.

Read: Problem Solving Team Building Activities

The Six Thinking Hats

In 1999, Dr. Edward de Bono published a book entitled Six Thinking Hats.  He theorizes that the human brain thinks in a number of distinct ways — or states — which can be identified, deliberately accessed, and therefore planned for use in a structured way, allowing team members to develop strategies for thinking about particular issues.

Six Thinking Hats is a powerful technique that helps teams look at important decisions from a number of different perspectives. It helps them make better decisions by pushing members to move outside their habitual ways of thinking. It helps them understand the full complexity of a decision, and identify issues and opportunities which they might not otherwise notice.

In order to make it easier to clearly identify and work with these states, colored hats are used as metaphors for them.  The act of putting on a colored hat allows individuals to symbolically think in terms of the state, either actually or imaginatively.

White Hat:  Neutrality: Participants make statements of fact, including identifying information that is absent — and presenting the views of people who are not present — in a factual manner. 

Red Hat:  Feeling: Participants state their feelings, exercising their gut instincts. In many cases this is a method for harvesting ideas; it is not a question of recording statements, but rather getting everyone to identify their top two or three choices from a list of ideas or items identified under another hat. This is done to help reducing lists of many options into a few to focus on by allowing each participant to vote for the ones they prefer. It is applied more quickly than the other hats to ensure it is a gut reaction feeling that is recorded. This method can use post-it notes to allow a quick system of voting, and creates a clear visual cue that creates rapid if incomplete agreement around an issue.

Alternatively it may be used to state ones gut reaction or feelings on an issue under discussion – this is more common when using the hats to review personal progress or deal with issues where there is high emotional content that is relevant to discussion.  Finally, this hat can be used to request an aesthetic response to a particular design or object.

Black Hat:  Negative Judgment: Participants identify barriers, hazards, risks, and other negative connotations. This is critical thinking, looking for problems and mismatches. This hat is usually natural for people to use, the issues with it are that people will tend to use it when it is not requested and when it is not appropriate, thus stopping the flow of others. Preventing inappropriate use of the black hat is a common obstacle and vital step to effective group thinking. Another difficulty faced is that some people will naturally start to look for the solutions to raised problems – they start practicing green on black thinking before it is requested.

Yellow hat – Positive Judgment: Participants identify benefits associated with an idea or issue. This is the opposite of black hat thinking and looks for the reasons in favor of something. This is still a matter of judgment; it is an analytical process, not just blind optimism. One is looking to create justified statements in favor. It is encapsulated in the idea of “undecided positive” (whereas the black hat would be skeptical – undecided negative).  The outputs may be statements of the benefits that could be created with a given idea, or positive statements about the likelihood of achieving it or identifying the key supports available that will benefit this course of action

Green Hat:  Creative Thinking: This is the hat of thinking new thoughts. It is based around the idea of provocation and thinking for the sake of identifying new possibilities. Things are said for the sake of seeing what they might mean, rather than to form a judgment. This is often carried out on black hat statements in order to identify how to get past the barriers or failings identified there (green on black thinking). Because green hat thinking covers the full spectrum of creativity, it can take many forms.

Blue Hat: The Big Picture: This is the hat under which all participants discuss the thinking process. The facilitator will generally wear it throughout and each member of the team will put it on from time to time to think about directing their work together. This hat should be used at the start and end of each thinking session, to set objectives, to define the route to take to get to them, to evaluate where the group has got to, and where the thinking process is going. Having a facilitator maintain this role throughout helps ensure that the group remains focused on task and improves their chances of achieving their objectives.

Encouraging Brainstorming

Brainstorms are a simple and effective method for generating ideas and suggestions.  They allow group members to use each other as creative resources and are effective when a subject is being introduced. The goal is to rapidly generate a large quantity of ideas. Subsequent sorting and prioritizing of the ideas is usually needed to refine the results.

Building Consensus

Consensus is a point of maximum agreement so action can follow. It is a win-win situation in which everyone feels that he or she has one solution that does not compromise any strong convictions or needs. To reach consensus, group members share ideas, discuss, evaluate, organize, and prioritize ideas, and struggle to reach the best conclusions together.

A good test for consensus is to ask the question “can you support this decision?” If everyone can support it, the group has achieved 100% consensus.

Consensus is not always the best strategy. In some cases, reaching consensus does not result in a better decision or outcome. For example, group members are capable of unanimously agreeing on a completely incorrect solution to a problem. But generally, reaching consensus remains a highly desirable goal.

To make consensus work, the leader must become skilled at separating the content of the team’s work (the task) from the process (how the team goes about doing the task). But the process should get the most attention.  A facilitative leader helps a team to solve its own problem.  The problem-solving process is as follows:

  1. Identify the problem or goal.
  2. Generate alternative solutions.
  3. Establish objective criteria.
  4. Decide on a solution that best fits the criteria.
  5. Proceed with the solution.
  6. Evaluate the solution.

Everyone involved in the process should understand exactly which step is being worked on at any given point. When team members sense a problem, they are usually reacting to symptoms of the problem. But they are side effects of the real problem which usually lies below the surface.

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Encouraging Teamwork

Encouraging Teamwork

For every team member that believes and works for the team the chances of success go up exponentially. That is the reason why it is so important in teamwork and team building, as it provides the greats chance of success.

Some Things to Do

  • Promote an active learning climate for the team
  • Try to relate the team building strategies to the team’s work
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with new strategies
  • Constantly evaluate both your output and your process. In short, ask regularly, “How are we doing?

Some Things to Avoid

  • Being aggressive — instead of assertive
  • Failing to let others express their opinions
  • Inadequate planning

Some Things to Consider

Encouraging teamwork means making a commitment, and requires practice. The process is not instant and take some time, so be patient. Do not be discouraged by mistakes, learn from them.

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Encouraging Teamwork

Encouraging Teamwork

ACCESS OUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO TEAM BUILDING AND TEAMWORK

For every team member that believes and works for the team the chances of success go up exponentially. That is the reason why it is so important in teamwork and team building, as it provides a greater chance of success.

Some Things to Do

  • Promote an active learning climate for the team
  • Try to relate the team building strategies to the team’s work
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with new strategies
  • Constantly evaluate both your output and your process. In short, ask regularly, “How are we doing?

Some Things to Avoid

  • Being aggressive — instead of assertive
  • Failing to let others express their opinions
  • Inadequate planning

Some Things to Consider

Encouraging teamwork means making a commitment, and requires practice. The process is not instant and take some time, so be patient. Do not be discouraged by mistakes, learn from them.

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The Importance of Tenacity in Teamwork

The Importance of Tenacity in Teamwork

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As a team member, how tenacious are you? Do you keep on trying when the rest of the team wants to give up? If you find that you sometimes give up before your other team members, it is time to work on increasing your tenacity. Having team members that are tenacious is crucial to the success of a team. A team member may lack in talent but with a tenacious spirit they will always contribute to the success of the team.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Qualities of Tenacious Team Members

  1. They give all they have, not more than they have. Often team members lack tenacity because they think tenacity will demand more from them than they have to give. Having tenacity requires that you only give 100%, not more but not less either. When you give your all, you give you and your team every possible opportunity for success.
  2. They work with determination and do not wait for destiny. A tenacious team member does not depend on luck, fate or destiny. They keep working hard even when circumstances are difficult. Just because times get trying, it does not mean you should quit trying.
  3. They stop when the job is done, not when they are tired. A team member with tenacity pushes beyond what they think they can do to find out what they are really capable of doing. The tenacious team member hangs on until the job is finished.

Related: Resilience Outcome Based Team Building Activities

How to Become a More Tenacious Team Member

  • Work Harder and/or Smarter. Tenacious team members are not clock watchers that never work beyond quitting time. They put in extra time before and after work hours as well as spending time planning to make their hours more efficient.
  • Stand for Something. To succeed in life, absolute integrity and understanding of your life purpose is essential. Tenacious team members make it a habit of evaluating how their day to day work relates to their overall purpose.
  • Create Some Friendly Competition. Our competitive nature feeds tenacity, and this can be harnessed by making work a game.  Find others in the team with similar goals to yours and create friendly competition to motivate them and you.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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The Importance of Selflessness in Teamwork

The Importance of Selflessness in Teamwork

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If you want to contribute positively towards the success of your team, it is important that you place others ahead of yourself. You have to be willing sometimes to take the backseat to other team members. Teams only succeed when its team members are prepared to place other team members above themselves. Being selfless is not always easy but it is a vital part of teamwork.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

How to Cultivate an Attitude of Generosity

  • Be Generous. Generosity is at the heart of selflessness that unites and advances the team. A team is well placed for success when it consists of team members that are willing to give of themselves generously for the cause of the team.
  • Avoid Internal Politics. Playing politics on the team is one of the worst forms of selfishness. It usually includes posturing and positioning for your benefit regardless of how it may damage the team’s relationships. Selfless team members are more concerned about other team members benefitting than how they can benefit themselves.
  • Display Loyalty. Only when you show loyalty to other members of the team, can you expect loyalty from them. If you put yourself on the line for your team they will work hard for you and complete the tasks you give them, even in challenging circumstances. Loyalty fosters unity and unity leads to team success.
  • Value Interdependence over Independence. Independence is valuable as it often leads to hard work, innovation and the willingness to stand for what is right. But the independence taken too far has the characteristics of selfishness, especially when it harms or hinders other members of the team.

How to Become a More Selfless Team Member

  • Promote Someone Other Than Yourself. Do not always look to promote yourself and your achievements. Determine to keep silent about yourself more often and praise the work of the other team members. Always look for positive things to say about your team members.
  • Take a Subordinate Role. It is a natural tendency for people to want to take the best place and let others fend for themselves. Practice taking a subordinate role through the discipline of serving others and letting others go first.
  • Give Secretly. Give something to someone that can never repay you. You can make sure that a team member cannot repay you by giving them something in secret. If your giving is done in secret, it is impossible for the team member to repay you.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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The Importance of Relationships in Teamwork

The Importance of Relationships in Teamwork

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To be successful, a team needs its team members to be relational and work at building healthy relationships. The more robust the relationships between team members, the more the team will operate as a unit. Healthy relationships are the glue that keeps a team together.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Respect in Relationships

Respect is the most important beginning point in any relationship. Respect can be defined as the desire to place value on others. You cannot truly show respect to someone if you privately feel that they do not have any value. Where respect often needs to be shown before a person does anything to earn it, you should expect to have to earn your respect from others. Respect from others is earned the quickest when you face and overcome challenges.

Shared Experiences

It is not possible to build a relationship with someone you do not know. To build relationships within a team, it requires shared experiences among the team members over time. Constantly having new team members coming into the team means less shared experiences that are essential for the success of the team.

Trust in Relationships

Trust is one of the essential ingredients to all healthy relationships. Without trust among team members, relationships in the team will not be sustained for any length of time.

Reciprocity in Relationships

A relationship that is one-sided will not last long. Where one person is always giving and the other always taking, you cannot have a healthy relationship. The same is also true for relationships within a team. To build a team that is successful, you need team members that not only take, but are willing to give as well so that everyone benefits.

Mutual Enjoyment

As relationships in the team grow stronger over time, team members begin to enjoy each other’s company more. The enjoyment of just being together turns unpleasant tasks into positive experiences.

How to Improve Your Relationships with Other Team Members

  1. Focus on Other Team Members. The team is not about you. Focusing on others rather than yourself is one of the most important steps in building relationships. You can focus on others by always thinking of things to give or do for your team members, without you benefitting from them.
  2. Ask the Right Questions. Get to know your team members better by asking them questions about their hopes, desires, and goals. Find out what makes them smile and what makes them Get to know who they are by carefully listening to their answers.
  3. Share Common Experiences. Sharing everyday experience will help the team develop common ground. Time spend together while working as a team is essential to building a team. Time should also be spent together outside the regular team environment. Socialize together and find ways to share your lives.
  4. Make Others Feel Special. Make sure that everyone on the team feels This can be accomplished by giving others your full attention when you are with them. Give genuine compliments and recognize others in front of their peers. Your team members are more likely to connect with you when you show them that you care about them.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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The Importance of Preparation in Teamwork

The Importance of Preparation in Teamwork

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If your team is well prepared, the battle is half-won. In this blog post, we will be looking at some of the ways you can ensure that your team is prepared for success.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Assessment

The first step towards being well prepared is knowing for what you are preparing. Determine where the team is headed and examine what the conditions will be along the way. It is also vital to assess the price that the team will have to pay to get there.

Alignment

The team may know where they are going, but they will never get there if they are not lined up with their goals. Active alignment is essential for the success of the team. It is not just about working hard, but it also important for the team to be doing the right work.

Attitude

At times, teams prepare physically for projects but neglect to pay attention to their attitude. For a team to be successful, they need to prepare for the mental aspects of the projects, as well as the physical aspects. It is essential that the team members have a positive attitude about themselves, each other and the project.

Action

At some point, action needs to be taken. Being prepared means being ready to take the first step when the time comes to do so.

How to improve your team’s preparedness

  • Encourage them to become process thinkers. Getting ready is one of the secrets of a team’s success. Getting ready requires that the team thinks ahead and recognize now what they will need later. This is done by walking through the process ahead of time and breaking the tasks down into steps. Thinking through the process also helps the team to determine what preparation is required to complete each step.
  • Encourage them to do more research. In every profession, it is essential that research is done for team members to improve themselves. It is important that your team become familiar with the tools of their trade and become experts in using these tools.
  • Encourage them to learn from their mistakes. One of the greatest preparation tool can be the team member’s experiences. Encourage your team to write down their mistakes, study them and determine what they can do differently when they face a similar situation.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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The Importance of Enthusiasm in Teamwork

The Importance of Enthusiasm in Teamwork

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When it comes to teamwork, there is no substitute for enthusiasm. When the members of a team are enthusiastic, the whole team becomes highly energized. While apathy increases excuses in the team, enthusiasm increases the accomplishments of the team.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Characteristics of team members with an enthusiastic attitude to teamwork

  1. They take responsibility for their own enthusiasm.
    Winning teams are made up out of team members that know that an enthusiastic attitude is a choice. Waiting for external forces to spark your enthusiasm will always place you at other people’s mercy. Positive team members are positive because they choose to be. If you want to be a positive person, you will have to take the responsibility for being that way.
  2. They act their way into feeling enthusiastic.
    You cannot win at anything in life if you do not begin. You cannot break the cycle of apathy by waiting to feel like doing something. You have to act your way into feeling enthusiastic. Do not wait for the right motivation to get you going but take action no matter how small or insignificant the action If you want to be enthusiastic, then start acting that way. If you are waiting first to feel enthusiastic, you are likely never to become enthusiastic.
  3. They spend time with enthusiastic people.
    You can increase your enthusiasm just by hanging around enthusiastic Enthusiasm is contagious. Put a whole team of enthusiastic people together, and the possibilities for that team are endless.
  4. They believe in what they do.
    One of the best ways to increase your enthusiasm towards your work is to think about all the positive aspects of your work. Believing in what you are doing and focusing on the positive aspects will help you act and speak positively about what you are doing. Thinking positively about your work will spark the flame; you just need to keep the fire going.

Three Ways to Improve Your Enthusiasm

  1. Show a sense of urgency. Stir up your enthusiasm by doing your tasks with greater urgency. Identify a project that you are less enthusiastic about and set challenging deadlines in which to complete the tasks of the project. Challenging yourself in this way will help you to be more focused and energized.
  2. Be willing to do more. You can effectively demonstrate your enthusiasm to your team members by being willing to do more than is expected of you. When you do more than what someone asks you to do, it will impact the team’s atmosphere in a positive manner.
  3. Strive for excellence. The best way to prepare for future good work is to do good work today. Doing a job well breeds enthusiasm. If you have allowed your work standards to drop, redouble your effort to do things to the highest level of excellence.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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The Importance of Discipline in Teamwork

The Importance of Discipline in Teamwork

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Discipline can be defined as doing those things that you do not want to do so that you can do the things that you really want to do. It is paying the price in the little things so that you can obtain the bigger things. In the same way that no individual can succeed without discipline, no team can be successful without discipline.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Team Members Need Discipline in Three Areas

  1. Disciplined Thinking: You need disciplined thinking if you want to get anywhere in live. You can develop disciplined thinking by keeping your mind active, regularly taking on mental challenges and continually talking about the right things.
  2. Disciplined Emotions: You can either master your emotions or be mastered by them. Mastering your emotions does not mean you have to turn off your feelings. You master your emotions by not allowing them to prevent you from doing what you should do or doing what you should not.
  3. Disciplined Actions: It is actions that separate winners from losers. Whenever a team member practices disciplined actions, other people that depend on them, benefit.

How to Become a More Disciplined Team Member

  • Strengthen your work habits. Do what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, whether you like doing it or not. To be disciplined is to do the right things for the right reasons at the right time. Look to do something every day that is unpleasant for you to do but that has to be done.
  • Take on a challenge. To help strengthen your mind and resolve, look for a task or project that will put you in over your head. Something that will require you to think sharply and act with discipline. If you keep challenging yourself in this manner, you will find yourself capable of more than you ever imagined.
  • Be disciplined in what you say. Stop yourself from saying things that you should not. When you feel like lashing out, hold your tongue for five minutes. When you give yourself time to calm down, you will see the situation more rationally. If you use this strategy repeatedly, you will find yourself in better command of your emotions.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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The Importance of Dependability in Teamwork

The Importance of Dependability in Teamwork

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Dependability in team members is essential to the success of any team. Everybody in the team knows which of the team members are not dependable. Conversely, everyone on the team knows which team members they can rely on.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Qualities of Dependable Team Members

  • Pure Motives: When it comes to teamwork, the motives of the team members matter greatly. As team leader, you need to keep your motives right and encourage your team members to do the same. Undependable team members are usually those who place themselves and their agendas ahead of what is best for the team.
  • Responsibility: Dependable team members have a strong sense of responsibility. While motivation refers to why people are dependable, responsibility indicates that a team member wants to be dependable.
  • Sound Thinking: To be of real value to the team, dependable team members are not only willing to take responsibility but they also exercise sound judgment.
  • Consistent Contribution: A dependable team member is a consistent team member. If you cannot depend on a team member all of the time, you cannot depend on them any of the time. Consistency is more than talent. Consistency requires depth of character which enables a team member to follow through no matter the circumstances.

How to Be a More Dependable Team Member

  • Check your motives. Commit your goals to paper and consider how many of them benefit the teams that you are part of or only benefit you. Spend some time aligning your personal priorities with those of your team.
  • Discover what your word is worth. Ask other team members to rate you out of ten on your reliability. If they rate you lower than ten or nine, you may need to write down your commitments as you make them from that day forward and track your follow through for at least one month.
  • Find someone on your team to hold you accountable. You are more likely to develop dependability if you have a partner to help you. Find someone you respect to help you keep your commitments.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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The Importance of Communication in Teamwork

The Importance of Communication in Teamwork

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You cannot have teamwork without communication. Without communication between each other, your team will not function as a team but as a collection of individuals. In order to have an effective team, it is essential to have communicative team members.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Characteristics of Communicative Team Members

  • Communicative team members do not isolate themselves from other team members. When one of the members of a team isolates themselves from the others, it creates problems for the team. This problem escalates when entire sections of the team isolate The more team members know about each other, the more they will understand each other and the more they will care. Team members with passion and information and connection are powerful assets to the team.
  • Communicative team members make it easy for other team members to communicate with them. Most communication problems in a team can be solved with proximity. Strong leader and effective team members not only stay connected with other team members, but they also ensure that the other team members can connect with them.
  • Communicative team members follow the 24-hour They do not avoid contact with those team members with whom they are in conflict. When they have any difficulty or conflict with another team member, they do not let 24 hours go by without addressing it. The sooner you communicate with the person you are in conflict with, the better it will be for you and your team.
  • Communicative team members give attention to potentially difficult relationships. Relationships need attention to thrive. This is especially true for a relationship between two people where there is potential for conflict.
  • Communicative team members follow up important communication in writing. The more complicated the communication, the more important it is to keep it clear and simple. This often means putting it in writing. When you have something important to communicate to other team members, it is easier to keep everyone on the same page if it is written down for everyone’s benefit.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

How You Can Improve Your Communication

  • Be Candid. Open communication fosters trust. Team relationships hurt when there are hidden agendas, when bad news is sugarcoated or communicated through a third party.
  • If you tend to sit on things instead of saying them, force yourself to follow the 24-hour If you discover an issue regarding another team member, find the first reasonable opportunity to address it with them. Invite other team members to do the same.
  • Share the information you have freely, do not hoard information. You need to be discreet with sensitive information, but include others where you can. Open communication increases trust, trust increases ownership, and ownership increases participation.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

 

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