Tag: Building Teams

Setting Expectations for Your Team

Setting Expectations for Your Team

Your team needs to know what you expect of them in order to succeed. In this post, we will work through the four steps of setting expectations for your team.

  1. Define the requirements.
  2. Identify opportunities for improvement and growth.
  3. Discuss the requirements.
  4. Put it all in writing.

Defining the Requirements

The first step is to define the requirements for the chosen task. In other words, what will success look like? You will want to develop your own set of criteria first, and then review it with the team to get their valuable ideas and input.

Here are some questions to help you get started, focused around the five W’s and the H.

  • How does the task tie into organizational goals?
  • Why are we doing this task?
  • What are the key parts to the task?
  • What steps will be involved?
  • What should the end result look like?
  • Who will the team members need to talk to?
  • When should the team members report back?

This framework can be used for individual tasks, projects, and even expectations about the position itself.

Identifying Opportunities for Improvement and Growth

The best expectations are those that encourage the team members to grow and stretch. So, when setting expectations, you should explore all the possibilities and share them with your team members.

Here is an example. Let’s say you have some training tasks that you would love to delegate, but you’re worried that the task would overwhelm anyone on your team. After all, many people aren’t comfortable speaking in public.

However, during your expectations meeting, one of your senior staff members mentions that she is interested in learning more about training. This is the perfect opportunity to reduce your workload and to help the team member develop her skills, not to mention increase her job satisfaction. Everyone wins!

Likewise, your team member may have hopes and dreams, but may be unwilling to share them for fear of being rejected, or for fear that they can’t meet their own expectations. Your leadership and encouragement is essential to help your team grow and develop. Encourage team members to try new things and provide them with the support they need. An action plan that gradually increases, tasks and responsibilities is one way to do this.

Setting Verbal Expectations

Expectations can be verbal or written, depending on the situation. For informal expectation-setting meetings, such as a new, simple task, verbal expectations can suffice. To make sure you’ve covered all the bases, use the 5 W’s and the H during your discussion.

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • How?

Putting Expectations in Writing

It’s never a bad idea to write down your expectations. This document can be kept for your records, and it can be shared with the team so they have something to refer to.



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Team Building Quotes About Laughter

Team Building Quotes About Laughter

Access Our Ultimate Guide to Building and Managing Virtual Teams

Laughter is an important part of building a team. Being able to laugh, play and have fun together makes being part of a team more enjoyable and helps the team to solve problems, connect with each other and be more creative. Playing with a problem can often lead to a creative learning opportunity. Make laughter, humor and play a prominent part of your team and creativity will thrive in your team.

Related: Laughter Games Team Building Activities

Laughter is also a powerful way to combat stress and conflict. Humor lightens burdens, connects you to others and inspires hope. It is an excellent resource for surmounting problems and enhancing relationships within a team. Laughter relaxes the body, boosts the immune system, releases feel good chemicals and even keeps your heart healthier.

We have put together the following quotes about the team building benefits of laughter:

“Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy.” — John Cleese

“A good laugh is a mighty good thing, a rather too scarce a good thing.”
— Herman Melville

“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”
— Mark Twain

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”
— Lord Byron

“An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh.”
— Tom Nansbury

“As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.”
— A Jewish Proverb

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.”
— Jean Houston

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
— Dr. Seuss

“He who laughs, lasts!”
— Mary Pettibone Poole

“I have always felt that laughter in the face of reality is probably the finest sound there is and will last until the day when the game is called on account of darkness. In this world, a good time to laugh is any time you can.”
— Linda Ellerbee

“If Laughter cannot solve your problems, it will definitely DISSOLVE your problems; so that you can think clearly what to do about them”
– Dr. Madan Kataria

“If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.”
— Edgar Watson Howe

“If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know the man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, or seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you’ll get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man…All I claim to know is that laughter is the most reliable gauge of human nature.”
— Feodor Dostoyevsky

“If you would not be laughed at, be the first to laugh at yourself.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“It is bad to suppress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips.”
— Fred Allen

“Laugh my friend, for laughter ignites a fire within the pit of your belly and awakens your being.”
—Stella & Blake

Laughter has no foreign accent. — Paul Lowney


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Develop Each Team Member as an Individual

Develop Each Team Member as an Individual

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

When you develop your team members, they become better at what they do and that benefits both you and the organization. There is a difference between equipping team members and developing team members. When you equip someone you are teaching them how to do a task or perform a duty. When you develop someone you help them improve as an individual. You help them acquire personal qualities that will benefit them in many areas of life.

Development is Long Term

Equipping a team member is usually quick and straightforward, whereas development of a team members always takes time because it requires change on the part of the individual being developed. The development of your team members is an ongoing process and you should have a plan in place which includes consistent, regularly scheduled activities. These activities geared towards developing your team members can include books, teaching lessons, conferences, soft skills courses and seminars. As team leader you also need to keep growing yourself because you cannot give that which you do not have.

Discover Each Team Member’s Dreams and Desires

Equipping is based on what the team needs, while developing is based on what the team member needs individually in order to become a better person. To develop your team members you need to know their dreams and desires. Also keep in mind that team leaders are learning, growing and pursuing their own dreams, they are more likely to help others pursue their own dreams.

Lead Each Member of Your Team Differently

Do not attempt to lead everyone in your team the same way, everyone does not respond to the same kind of leadership. Be consistent in treating everyone with kindness and respect, but do not use the same strategy and methods for everyone. Take responsibility for conforming your leadership style to what the individual members of your team need, not expecting them to adapt to you.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Help Your Team Members to Know Them Selves

You cannot be realistic about your potential until you are realistic about your position. You need to know where you are before you can figure out how to get to someplace else. One of the first steps of developing your team members is to help them define the reality of who they are currently. You need to help them to recognize their strengths and weaknesses so you can develop them in those areas.

Do Not Shy Away From Conflict

Development usually involves hard lessons. True growth comes when we have positive responses to negative experiences. As a team leader you need to get passed the discomfort of having difficult conversations for the sake of your team. People will work through difficulties if they believe you are willing to work with them.

Celebrate the Right Wins

Leaders that develop their team members help them get wins under their belt. Strategic wins are always of the greatest value to the individual. Target wins based on where you want the team member to grow and how you want them to grow. It is always an extra incentive for a person to go after things that will help them improve as an individual. Celebrating a wrong activity that somehow got the right result is setting up the team member for failure. Evaluate what looks like a win to make sure it is actually teaching the team member what they need to learn in order to grow.

Prepare Your Team Members for Leadership

No development process is complete without the inclusion of leadership development. The better your team members are at leading, the greater impact they will have on the organization. Take your team members through processes that gets them ready to step in and lead.



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10 Effective Steps to Build Your Team

10 Effective Steps to Build Your Team

The following are ten effective steps that you can focus on daily to build your team and get the best out of each team member.

Place a High Value on Your Team Members

If you want to get the best out of your team, you have to value each member of your team. If you focus on the individuals in your team, you will win your team over and establish the team vision. Make sure you do not take all the credit for the successes of the team, but always give the credit to the team.

Commit Resources to Developing Your Team Members

To facilitate growth in your team you need resources. People are only your most appreciable asset if you develop them. Whatever the cost will be for developing people will not be as high as the cost for not developing people.

Place High Value on Leadership

All good leaders recognize the importance of leadership and place a high value on it. If you value leadership, leaders will emerge to add value to your team.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Look for Potential Leaders

Leaders who value leadership are continually on the lookout for potential leaders. The following are some qualities in a team member that could make them a potential leader.

Know and Respect Your Team

As you build your team, you will get to know the team members better as individuals. The following are some points to keep in mind in the development process:

  • People want to see results.
  • People want to be effective.
  • People want to be in the picture.
  • People want to be appreciated.
  • People want to be part of the celebration.

Try to tailor the development process for each individual team member as much as possible.

Provide Potential Leaders With Leadership Experience

Potential leaders cannot learn leadership without actually leading. There needs to be a shift from merely delegating tasks to delegating leadership functions with authority and accountability.

Reward Initiative

Initiative is an important part of leadership. Leaders are proactive and they make things happen. Reward initiative shown in your team.

Provide a Safe Environment Where Team Members Ask Questions, Share Ideas and Take Risks

Secure leaders do not take it personally when they are asked questions by their team members. They are not threatened when they share ideas. Give your team members room to succeed or fail.

Grow With Your Team

When a team sees their leader growing it changes the culture in the team and removes the barriers between the leader and the rest of the team. It also makes the leader more accessible and sends a clear message that growth is a priority.

Draw People With Higher Potential Into Your Inner Circle

The best way to develop high caliber leaders is to have them mentored by high caliber leaders. Handpick people with the best potential and invite them into your inner circle and mentor them. Give your best to your best people.



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Team Building Quotes From Mohammad Ali

Team Building Quotes From Mohammed Ali

Access Our Ultimate Guide to Building and Managing Virtual Teams

Mohammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the history of the sport. He is one of the most recognized sports figures in the past 100 years and was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC. Ali remains the only three-time lineal world heavyweight champion; he won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Between February 25, 1964 and September 19, 1964 Muhammad Ali reigned as the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion. Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were the first Liston fight, three with rival Joe Frazier, and one with George Foreman.

We have put together a collection of quotes from Mohammad Ali, which you can use to motivate and build your team:

“Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
– Muhammad Ali

“I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others.”
– Muhammad Ali

“What keeps me going is goals.”
– Muhammad Ali

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
– Muhammad Ali

“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
– Muhammad Ali

Get a quote for team building activities.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ “
– Muhammad Ali

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
– Muhammad Ali

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
– Muhammad Ali

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
– Muhammad Ali

“I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.”
– Muhammad Ali

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
– Muhammad Ali

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
– Muhammad Ali

“I never thought of losing, but now that it’ s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”
– Muhammad Ali

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”
– Muhammad Ali

“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”
– Muhammad Ali

“If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”
– Muhammad Ali

“I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”
– Muhammad Ali

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When Team Members Become Friends

When Team Members Become Friends

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” –  Albert Camus

Most people agree that friends play a big role in our lives and that we need friends. Teams become stronger when team members form friendships with each other.

In true friendships, your friends will sometimes hold you up and sometimes they will lean on you, at other times it is enough just to know that they are standing by.

True friends can grow separately without growing apart from each other.  With a friend your joy is doubled and your grief is halved.

Friendship does have its requirements though. It requires unselfishness, genuinely caring for the other person, and listening when they need to talk. But the rewards of friendship are priceless.



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Team Building Quotes From Dale Carnegie

Team Building Quotes From Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie was an American author and lecturer. He was also a developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking and interpersonal skills. He was the author of popular books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Lincoln the Unknown and several other books. His books are mostly centered on the concept that it is possible to change other people’s behavior by changing one’s behavior toward them.

The following are some quotes from Dale Carnegie that you can use to build your team.

“Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
– Dale Carnegie

“You never achieve success unless you like what you are doing.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”
– Dale Carnegie

“The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.”
– Dale Carnegie

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”
– Dale Carnegie

“The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.”
– Dale Carnegie

“If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.”
– Dale Carnegie

“If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Remember happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
– Dale Carnegie

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”
– Dale Carnegie

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”
– Dale Carnegie

Source: http://www.brainyquote.com/


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The Importance of Self-Discipline for Team Leaders

The Importance of Self-Discipline for Team Leaders

If you know you have leadership ability but have experienced little in terms of concrete results, you may lack self-discipline. No team leader can achieve and sustain success without self-discipline. Your gifts will never reach their maximum potential without the application of self-discipline. It positions the leader at their highest level and is a crucial key to leadership that last.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Develop and Follow Your Priorities

As a team leader, you will never be successful by doing what you must only when you are in the mood or when it is convenient. If this is your attitude, your team will not follow you nor respect you. Determine your top priorities and release yourself from everything else. This makes it easier to follow through on your goals and is the essence of self-discipline.

Make a Disciplined Lifestyle Your Goal

To be successful as a team leader, you need to realize that self-discipline cannot be a one-time event. It has to become your lifestyle. One of the best ways to develop a lifestyle of self-discipline is to develop systems and routines. These should especially focus on the areas crucial to your long-term growth and success.

Challenge Your Excuses

To develop self-discipline, one of your first tasks is to challenge and eliminate any tendency to make excuses. Confront yourself with the fact that your reasons for not being self-disciplined are nothing but a bunch of excuses. If you want to go to next level in your leadership, you are going to have to challenge every excuse.

Stay Focused on Results

If you concentrate too much on how difficult the task is instead of the rewards or results, you can become discouraged. Focusing on how difficult something is will develop self-pity instead of self-discipline.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Self-Discipline

Establish Your Priorities. Write down the two or three areas of your life that are most important to you. Alongside them write down the disciplines you need to develop to keep growing and improving in those areas. Develop a plan to make those disciplines a daily or weekly part of your life.

List the Benefits of Self-Discipline. Write down the benefits of practicing the disciplines you listed. Post them where you can see them every day. Reread the list of benefits every time you are tempted to quit.

Eliminate the Excuses. Write down any reasons why you might not be able to follow through. Dismiss them for the excuses that they are. Even if the reasons seem legitimate, challenge yourself to find solutions to overcome it.


Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader


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The Importance of Relationships in Teamwork

The Importance of Relationships in Teamwork


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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Build a Better Team by Gaining Insight on Behavior

Build a Better Team by Gaining Insight on Behavior

Behavior can be a complicated concept because every person is different and can interpret behaviors differently. In a team, there is a wide range of behaviors occurring which can seem overwhelming at times. By gaining some insight on the behavior of your team and yourself, you will be able to build a better team.

The Role of Perception in Controlling Behavior

Even though our perception is mostly drawn from our experiences, and we can be biased when it comes to our thoughts, it is an important tool in controlling behavior. Perception helps us determine how we appear to others and how the behavior of others can influence us. It is also important to keep in mind that your belief in yourself can affect your perception and can in turn affect your behavior.

Your team members will not always say out loud how they perceive you. At times, you will have to make your conclusions based on your perception of their behavior:

  • Do they come close when they speak to you or try to move away?
  • Do they smile and interact with you or seem withdrawn?
  • Do you use these thoughts when you perceive people and their behaviors?

The Difference between Facts and Emotions

Facts are based on definite results while emotions are often involuntary and one-sided. Both emotions and facts can affect our behavior toward others. Emotions are involved in everything we do; they can affect the impact of our behavior and the information that we are conveying. Facts connect people on a logical level and drive the conversation.

Social situations are more likely to be driven by emotions, causing facts to become irrelevant. As team leader, you should recognize when emotions may be driving a situation. Reflect back on the situation and rediscover the facts and figures of the information. Remind the team to focus on the facts and save the emotions for later.

Communicating Online

Online communication includes emails, instant chats, video calls and text messages. It is a quick and easy way of communication, but it can cause misconceptions. The use of words is important when you communicate online because feeling, emotions and tone is difficult to communicate online. Online communication can also often seem impersonal, so it is important to speak face to face or by phone whenever possible.

Listen and Watch More Than You Participate

Monitor your behavior and the behavior of your team members by listening and watching more than you participate. Focus on the words your team members are using when they are talking and not necessarily on the person saying them. Focus on the topic on hand and don’t get caught up in one or two things they say. Continue to listen until the end and avoid making your own assumptions. Turn the focus away from yourself and focus on the team members. Developing better listening skills will help you pick up more information than if you tried to assume it all yourself.

Tips for better listening:

  • Listen for verbal cues
  • Watch for nonverbal cues
  • Focus on what is being said, not the person
  • Be aware of your own behaviors and reactions

Image Source: Office Now


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