Tag: Team Goals

Overcoming Roadblocks to Building a Team

Overcoming Roadblocks to Building a Team

It is common to encounter roadblocks during the process of building your team. Roadblocks manifest in many different forms. Roadblocks, however, should not spell an end to the team building process. You should expect roadblocks to occur. It is natural for it to happen because we are expecting behavior change, which that in and of itself is a task for the team members.

In this blog post, we will discuss ways to overcoming roadblocks. Some of the things you will learn are identifying common roadblocks, re-evaluate goals and focus on progress. Roadblocks are not dead ends. They are warning signs that will help you identify when you need to intervene and get your team back on track.

Common Obstacles to Building a Team

Building a team takes two parties to accomplish. The team leader must be just as engaged as the team members. Lack of zeal and honesty creates roadblocks that will hinder your team’s ability to reach their goals. Here are some common obstacles we, as team leaders create:

  • Do not have enough time to lead the team properly
  • Lack of confidence in leading the team
  • Fear of confrontation
  • Feels awkward
  • Fear of failure in leading the team
  • Afraid team will not respond

Now, from the team’s perspective, here are some common obstacles they may encounter:

  • Home/life issues are blocking progress
  • Fear of losing their job
  • Lack of confidence reaching the goal
  • Denial there is anything wrong
  • Poor relationship with the team leader

Obstacles come in many different forms. However, the root of the obstacles typically comes from a personal deficiency in their life situation. Maslow’s theory of needs outlines basic needs we all must have in order to reach higher order needs. Here is a brief overview of the needs.

  • Physical need
  • Safety need
  • Social need
  • Esteem need
  • Growth need

The basics of all needs are the physical and safety needs. If a person is lacking in either of these areas, they will find it difficult to progress further into the higher needs. For example, if you know a team member is having issues at home, their physical or safety need may be at risk, creating an obstacle to reaching a team goal, which is a higher order need. When faced with a needs issue, try your best to acknowledge the need and guide them to a qualified resource to assist them with this issue.

Let us look at how to re-evaluate goals and realign the team back to achieving the goal.

Reevaluating Team Goals

As time passes from the original team building session, you want to check in with your team and see where they are at, in respect to the goal that was set. It is at this point, where you may want to re-evaluate the team goal and determine if it is still SMART.

There are several things you want to take into consideration when re-evaluating goals. First, re-evaluating does not mean that you have to change it. Reevaluating is an opportunity to check on the team goal and to determine how your team is doing in achieving this goal. Here are some steps you want to take when re-evaluating a team goal:

  • Revisit the starting point. You want to review where you began. This way you are able to see if progress has been made and your team is moving towards the goal.
  • Determine what has been accomplished. Look at what the current performance level is and compare it to the starting point determined earlier.
  • Review the amount of time left with respect to the goal date. You want to see if the amount of improvement is aligned with how much time has passed or how much time is left before the goal date is reached.
  • Determine if the time remaining before the goal date is adequate to fulfill the goal. Here you want to see if there is still enough time to improve and reach the goal.
  • If not enough time is left to accomplish the team goal by goal date, then set a new goal and goal date based on how much improvement has been accomplished and the time it took to get there.
  • If there is still enough time, set smaller goals to help the team move towards the established general goal.

In overcoming roadblocks, you may need to be more flexible. Perhaps the goal originally seemed like a viable goal, but when put into practice it becomes apparent the team will not be able to reach it. Do not become frustrated. Be flexible and understanding of your team if you have to reset a goal.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Focusing on Progress in Building the Team

If you find yourself with a team member  struggling with reaching the team goals, you may be tempted to pull them over and discuss how they are missing the mark and the related consequences.

Focusing on the negative aspects will only create more obstacles. Remember the hierarchy of needs mentioned earlier? Well, if you start making the team building session feel more negative, the team member may feel that their place in the team is threatened. If this happens, they will become more fearful and this adds to the roadblocks.

Related: Changing Your Team’s Perspective

Instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on the progress. Tell the team member that you see progress and that you believe that they are able to make their goals. Speaking positively expands the team member’s belief about themselves. Use encouraging phrases like the ones here:

  • I know you are not quite there yet, but you managed to improve this much in such a short amount of time.
  • Your progress is steady and you are showing promise that you will reach that goal.
  • You showed definite improvement since our last discussion. I am confident you are going to hit this goal.

It is easy to speak into the positive aspects of progress. The benefits of focusing on progress could reap the following:

When you speak positively to your team, then positive things come out, but if you speak negatively, and then you will get a negative reaction.

Conclusion

Roadblocks should not stand in the way of building your team. By identifying the obstacles and working towards overcoming each one, team goals can be reached. Sometimes team goals will have to be reevaluated, but if you continue to focus on the positive your team will progress. Team building events are essential in the process of building your team. It gives you the opportunity to interact with your team and identify possible roadblocks in building your team.

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Developing Options for Reaching Team Goals

Developing Options to Reach Team Goals

In today’s blog post, we explore options that will enable your team to move towards the goal that was set before them. This is a pivotal step in the coaching process. If done correctly, you will engage your team and create a desire for them to improve. If done incorrectly, your team will disengage and they probably will fail again. It is the coach or team leaders’ job to create this participative environment. Let us look and see how.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities 

Identifying Paths to Reaching Team Goals

Many times, we feel that we have to outline the specific actions that the team has to take in order to reach the stated goal. While this may make you feel better, the likely hood of this action becoming meaningful to your team is close to nil. There is usually very little wiggle room when it comes to a performance goal. It is the plain, unchangeable business reality. Next, we established the current state of affairs with respect to your team’s performance. This historical and factual reality is also unchangeable.

Now, let us take it from the team’s perspective. How in control do they feel? Would they shut down if we, as their coach or team leader, solely determine the action steps they are going to take? They might. It is imperative to keep the team engaged. If not, the rest of the coaching session is just a one-way discussion, leaving your team feeling powerless in their own development.

When you allow your team to participate in the development of their options, you get B.I.G. results. B.I.G. results stand for the following benefits:

  • Buy-in by your team, because the options developed was a collaborative effort
  • Innovation, because more creativity is possible when more people work at it
  • Growth, because the options developed will have more meaning and lasting commitment

Choosing Your Final Approach to Reaching Team Goals

Deciding on which option to implement could be frustrating. The best thing to do is to implement a consistent method of determining the best possible option. The APAC section of the B.I.G. Template is designed to help you come to a quick decision on which option to implement. Here is how it works.

After you have brainstormed your options with your team, assess the pros of each option. Determine the benefits and possible rewards to select that option. Write those benefits in the template. Next, assess the cons for each option. Here are some things to consider:

  • Resources needed
  • Cost
  • Time
  • Return on investment
  • Disruption of the business

All of these factors could rule out an option. Once you identify the cons place those in the corresponding area on the template. Next, determine the top five options that are feasible to implement. Use a rating scale from 1-5 and place that in the rating column. Now, you are ready to rate the relevancy of the options identified as feasible. Rate the relevancy of the options with the goal. Here are some things to consider when rating this category:

  • Does this option build new supporting skills?
  • Does this option meet the time requirement of the goal?
  • Is this option measurable?

Once you determine the relevancy, you are able to multiply the feasibility rating with the relevancy rating. The highest number is possibly your best option. Remember to gain consensus from your team on this option.

Structuring a Plan to Reach Team Goals

Since you have your team’s attention, it is best to begin the planning process. Structuring a plan as soon as possible sends the message to your team that you mean business when it comes to implementing the option. For example: your SMART goal may be to increase the sales attempt rate from five percent to seven in 30 days. Next, you and your team may have agreed to focus on asking open-ended questions during a sales call as their option, giving them more information to help them attempt better. When are they going to start asking those questions? How many are they going to ask? These are action items you want document in a preliminary plan.

The 3T questioning technique helps you document three major milestones. Basically, you ask, “What are you going to do:

  • Tomorrow?
  • Two weeks from today?
  • Thirty days from today?

You may need to guide your team when answering the first question. Remember, the more time you let pass from the time you catch them and the time you implement your first action step, you could be losing precious information discussed in your coaching session.  Once you get to this point, you are ready to begin drafting your final plan.

 

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Reaching Team Goals Through the Four D Model

Reaching Team Goals Through the Four D Model

With positive thoughts and attitudes, your team can discover new ways of reaching team goals. The team can be free to dream new ambitions and set themselves up for success. After a plan is made, the team can design how to reach that goal and deliver the end result.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Discovery

Discovery is about finding what type of processes, organization and skills work for your team. It is also a process of learning to appreciate what has been given to the team and using it to their benefit. Team members often discover some of this information by speaking with other team members and learning about what has worked for the company in the past. This can lead team members to feel more appreciative about their role in the team and what they can do to make meaningful contributions.

Examples:

  • Conversing with other team members about their experiences
  •  Asking team leaders what methods have worked in the past
  • Observing your past actions that have been successful

Dream

The dream phase focuses on what would work for the team and the company in the future. This ‘dream session’ can be run in a large group conference or can be done with a few peers. Either way, it should allow everyone to open up about what they want to see from the team and any ideas they may have for improvement. The idea of the ‘dream’ part of this model is to use positive energy to create a vision for the future, while creating goals and accomplishments that will help the team, and the company, reach that point. Dream up the ideal and perfect situation.

Examples:

  • “Would this work in the future?”
  • “What do I want to see happen?”
  • “What would be perfect for the team and the company?”

Design

The design plan is all about how you and the team members plan to reach the goals and dreams that were lined out in the discovery and dream phases. This part of the model focuses on what needs to be done to reach these goals and reach the progress needed. Generally, this part is carried out by a small group of members that concentrate on how to move forward, but it can be done with larger groups as well.  Anyone in this group is encouraged to remember to use positive language and encourage their coworkers to think positive in their work.

Examples:

  •  “What do we need to do to make this happen?”
  •  “Will things needed to be changed or altered?”
  •  “Do we need to introduce a new element?”

Delivery

The delivery phase, sometimes called the destiny phase, is the final stage of the Four D model, and focuses on executing the plans and ideas that were thought out and developed in the previous phases. In this part of the model, team members need to take the necessary actions to progress toward change and positively obtaining the team goals. A plan isn’t worth the paper it is written on if it doesn’t have a dynamic team behind it to carry it out.

Examples:

  • Implement any changes needed
  • Remove elements that no longer work
  • Assign tasks and duties as needed

 

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Strategies for Setting Team Goals

Strategies for Setting Team Goals

Effective goal setting is essential to the success of a team. Goal setting, however, requires careful strategy and execution. Simply writing down a list of things to do is not goal setting. Goals need to be made on an emotional and intellectual level in order to be achieved successfully.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building

Listening to Emotions When Setting Goals

Teams often fail to reach their goals because they ignore the emotional aspect of goal setting. Emotions affect every aspect of a person’s life. They influence health and factor into how well people perform in a team. Feelings towards goals, determine whether or not they are achieved. Feelings of obligation will only motivate someone so far. Goals need to be based on personal vision in order to be effective. Vision statements allow teams to create goals that relate to their convictions and emotions.

  • Recognize team values: Reflect on what the team truly value and how these values will shape the team’s future.
  • Consider team goals: What do you want the team to be like in the future?
  • Write it down: Draft a vision statement, and revisit occasionally to make any necessary adjustments.

Prioritizing Goals

Teams often fail to achieve goals when the number of things they need to do overwhelms them. Goals must be prioritized. It is not possible to concentrate on every goal at once. They should be ranked in order of importance, so that plans can be made accordingly. It is essential to have balanced goals that reflect all areas of life. Personal values and visions should be used to prioritize personal and professional goals.

Using Re-Gating to Set Goals

Sensory gating is the process that the brain uses to adjust to stimuli. There is a direct connection between the ability to filter out distracting stimuli and performance. Stress, anxiety, and depression can alter the chemistry of the brain and reduce the effectiveness of sensory gating. In order to prevent cognitive issues related to gating, it is important to try re-gating. Gating can be improved by using relaxation techniques that help the mind focus and filter out the distractions. Setting goals require focus and a calm atmosphere. Before setting goals, attempt to use relaxation techniques such as meditation to clear the mind of distractions.

 

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Successful Teams Use SMART Goals

Successful Teams Use SMART Goals

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

If your team cannot achieve their goals, there is a chance that they are not creating the correct goals. Whenever your team is creating goals, they will find that following the rules for SMART goals will be easier to achieve. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When they combine the elements of SMART goals, your team will have a greater chance of success.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building, Defining a Succesful Team

Team Goals Must be Specific

Goals need to be specific. Your team will not be able to reach their goals if they are broad and general because planning will be too difficult. For example, “Improve our performance” is too broad. The team cannot work towards this general goal. Specific goals explain what is necessary to complete a goal and guides the team as they try to reach the goal. Specific goals may also identify location, requirements, and the reasoning behind the goal.

Team Goals Must be Measurable

Goals need to be measurable in order to be effective. A measurable goal specifies the when a goal is accomplished by answering, “how much?” or “how many?” It provides measurable results. Without measurable goals, it is difficult to realize when the goal has been reached.

Team Goals Must be Attainable

Goals must always be attainable. It is important that the team creates goals that are challenging, but they still need to be within reach. When goals are unattainable, the team will give up on them without even trying. The measure of a goal should always be attainable.

Team Goals Must be Realistic

It is important that the team set realistic goals. Realistic goals are directly related to the team’s abilities. For example, a goal to reprogram the computer is not realistic if you do not have the education or experience to accomplish the task. Additionally, you need to make sure that the team has access to the tools necessary to meet their goals. If a goal seems unrealistic, break it down into smaller chunks to know for certain.

Team Goals Must be Timely

Your team should always create goals that have specific time frames. General goals do not establish any time frames, which means that you may continue to pursue goals that you should relinquish. Timely goals encourages the team to move forward in order to meet the deadline they have established. Once a time frame has been reached, the team should take the time to reevaluate the goal.

Related: Time Management Outcome Based Team Building Activities

 

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Tips for Completing Tasks and Reaching Team Goals

Tips for Completing Tasks and Reaching Team Goals

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – Helen Keller

It is easy to begin tasks, but completing them can at times be more challenging. There always seems to be something that distracts a team from completing their tasks. Given how easy it is to procrastinate and avoid tasks, most team members have a list of tasks waiting to be completed. As this list grows, stress levels increase. By following a few simple tasks, your team members can improve their chances of accomplishing their goals, staying on track, and reducing stress levels.

The One Minute Rule

Most team members detest doing the small, mundane tasks. These tasks may seem unimportant to your team members, but over time, they will pile up, which will diminish focus and waste time. For example, if you do not take the garbage out regularly, it will overflow. This makes a simple task much more difficult. Implementing the one minute rule eliminates this difficult situation and protects your team’s focus.  According to the one minute rule, if a task will only take one minute, it should be completed immediately. A single minute will not put your team behind schedule, and following the rule will save the team time in the long run.

Related: Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

The Five Minute Rule

Schedules are only helping a team focus and manage time when they are done correctly. A common mistake that people make when creating schedules are making them too strict. It is not possible to plan the day down to the minute. When creating a schedule, you should follow the five minute rule. The five minute rule is simple: allow at least five minutes between scheduled tasks. This time is set aside so that you can complete small tasks that you have been avoiding or neglecting. The five minutes do more than provide time to complete small, seemingly unimportant projects. They also provide a buffer between scheduled activities, which will help keep your team on schedule in case a task runs longer than expected.

Break Up Large Tasks

Some tasks have multiple steps. These tasks may be overwhelming to your team if they look at the complete picture. By breaking these tasks up into their basic steps, your team will be able to remain focused as they work. Additionally, they will feel a sense of achievement as they complete each step in the process. Breaking down a task into manageable steps will make them much easier to manage. Additionally, you will be more likely to complete a project when you break it down into smaller tasks.

Utilize Technology

Technology has made completing tasks much easier. Computer software and online programs help teams manage tasks, create reminders, and track their progress. Besides computer programs, there are countless apps now that help you make lists, keep track of schedules, and complete tasks.

 

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Motivating Your Team to Achieve Their Goals

Motivating Your Team to Achieve Their Goals

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti

Goals can be inspiring, but that inspiration can fade in the reality of everyday life. In order for your team to achieve their goals, it is important that you find ways to motivate the team. You cannot constantly rely on external motivation. Implementing different methods of motivation such as remembering peak moments, writing down goals and gamification will help keep your team focused and positive as they work towards their goals.

Remind The Team of Peak Moments

Positive memories are powerful motivators. Remembering peak moments create a sense of achievement and encourages the team to seek out that same feeling again. Peak moments are not relegated to work accomplishments. They are any strong memories that create positive feelings. Looking back over the team’s peak moments will show them how much they already have achieved, and how far they have already come. It will encourage and motivate them to keep moving forward and reach their goals.

Write Down the Team Goals

Knowing the goals is not enough to keep the team motivated; you have to write them down. Writing down goals creates a visual reminder of where the team is going. When you are writing down your team goals, remember to use the present tense or the present perfect tense. This will help the team visualize reaching the goals. Once the goals are written down, you should display them someplace where the team will see them regularly.

Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Use Gamification

Gamification uses the process of game dynamics to blend intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Unlike online games that can become obstacles to productivity, gamification will actually help the team achieve their goals. This system allows the team to earn points towards rewards by accomplishing tasks. The points earned provide incentives to complete more tasks and earn more rewards.

Create Your Own Game:

  • Identify tasks: List the tasks/chores that needs to be accomplished.
  • Assign points: Assign a number of points to each task. Tasks that the team typically avoids should be given more points to provide greater incentive.
  • Assign rewards: Determine how many points are necessary to earn each reward. Higher point counts should be given to rewards that are more valuable. The rewards will depend on what motivates the team most.
  • Keep score: Find a method to keep track of the points that works for you. You could use a spreadsheet or list them in an app on your phone.

You will probably have to adjust your game to find the most motivating rewards system. Once you have made the necessary adjustments, you will have fun helping your team reach their goals.

Track Your Team’s Progress

Tracking your team’s progress will help you see their accomplishments and which areas require more effort. Additionally, showing them the improvements that they make will motivate them to continue their hard work. Over time, you should see your team consistently reaching more of their goals. There are different ways to track progress. You may choose to do it by hand, use a spreadsheet, or use an online tool. Do not expect your team to always reach all of their goals. The purpose of tracking progress is to show the areas that need more of your focus.

 

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Four Keys to Setting Goals for Your Team

Four Keys to Setting Goals for Your Team

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

Goal Setting is a very important part of building a successful team. Your team needs goals to ensure that things get done. However, not every goal is effective. The way that you word your goals will determine whether or not your team accomplish them. The following are four keys to establishing goals that are effective.

Goals Need to Be Positive

It is important that the goals you create for your team are positive. Positive goals focus on what you what you want to achieve, whereas negative goals focus on what you want to avoid. Staying focussed on the positive will help improve the team’s outlook and remove any negativity. This, in turn, will improve your team’s chances for success. Also keep in mind to be as specific as possible when creating positive goals.

Make Goals Personal

Try and create goals that incorporate the dreams and desires of the team members. Goals that are personal are usually also more effective. Making goals personal places the responsibility of reaching the goals on the team members.

Goals Need to Be Possible

When creating goals for our team, you need to make sure that they are possible. When you set impossible goals, you set your team up for failure and disappointment. Creating possible goals demands that you are honest with yourself. Some goals may require continued education or experience to achieve while others will remain out of reach. You need to assess the talents of the team and determine what you can achieve with hard work and what will be impossible for the team to accomplish. Once you have determined which goals are possible for your team to achieve, success will be within reach.

Goals Need to Be Prioitized

Brainstorming goals can become overwhelming and your team can easily end up with more goals than they can handle. This is the time to prioritize the goals of your team. Begin by numerically ranking the goals and choosing the five goals that are the most important. All of the team’s time and energy should be spent working towards these goals. Any other goals should be placed on the back burner. It is not possible to focus on 20 goals at the same time. You may need to re-prioritize the goals periodically. For example, you can re-prioritize after your team achieved one of the top five goals.

Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

 

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How To Draw Up a Team Charter

How To Draw Up a Team Charter

A Team Charter is necessary to ensure that every member of the team is on the same page and that you do not have team members pulling in different directions. Team members need direction to prevent them from focussing on the wrong objectives or failing to use important resources. The Team Charter will also help minimize infighting.

The Team Charter defines the purpose of the team, how it will work and what is its expected outcomes. Ideally, it should be drawn up at the time the team is formed but is also useful to help a team that is in trouble to refocus on its objectives. The time taken to draw up a team charter will be repaid many times as the project progresses.

The team charter should include the following elements:

The Context of The Team Charter

This will basically serve as the introduction to the Team Charter. The section covers questions such as:

  • Why the team was found?
  • What problems are the team trying to solve?
  • How does this problem fit into the broader objective of the organization?
  • What are the consequences if this problem remains unsolved?

Related: Problem Solving Outcome Based Team Building Activities

The Mission and Objectives of The Team Charter

This section forms the heart of the Team Charter. Here you will be defining the mission so that the team knows what it is to achieve. Without a clear mission for the team, individuals in the team often pursue their own agendas. The next step is to turn the mission into measurable goals and objectives. It is important that each objective can be measured so that success can be monitored.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Team Composition and Roles

Here the team looks at the mission and decide who is needed to accomplish which goals. A decision is made as to what each person will do to support the team in its mission. Team members are matched to roles and any gaps in skills are identified. Each team member is listed with their roles and responsibilities.

Authority and Empowerment of Team Members

With the roles of the team members defined, it is time to look at what each team member can or cannot do to achieve the mission of the team. In this section the following questions are answered:

  • How much time each member can allocate to team mission and what priority does it have over other activities?
  • How team members are to resolve any conflict between other duties and the team mission?
  • What budget is available in terms of time and money?
  • Can the team recruit new members?
  • What the team members can do, what can it not do, and what does it need prior approval to do.

The Available Resources and Support

In this section you list the resources available to the team to accomplish its goals. The list of resources should include budget, time, equipment and people. Any changes to the required resources should be monitored regularly. It also details the training and coaching support available to the team.

Operations Section of The Team Charter

This covers how the team will operate on a day-to-day basis. It can be as detailed or minimalist as the situation warrants. For a long duration team it is likely to be more comprehensive than for a team with a short life.

Negotiation and Agreement

A good Team Charter is usually one that emerges naturally through a process of negotiation. The team’s objectives, composition, roles, boundaries and resources ideally emerge through negotiation between sponsor, team leader, team and other stakeholders.

Conclusion

The final element of the Team Charter is the approval section where team members sign off on the Charter and commit to the principles, roles, responsibilities detailed. This final act communicates commitment and creates accountability.

Source: www.mindtools.com

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