Tag: Teams

How Your Team Can Avoid Office Politics

How Your Team Can Avoid Office Politics

Getting involved in office politics can seriously harm the success of your team. The work environment often draws team members into behaviour that will ultimately damage peer-to-peer relationships. The following are some guidelines for your team to follow in order to avoid getting involved in office politics.

Avoid Gossip

There is no upside to gossip. Not only does it diminish the person saying unkind things, but it also diminished those listening to what is being said. Encourage your team to not only avoid gossiping about others, but also to avoid listening to gossip. Remind them that whoever gossips to you will also gossip about you.

Stay Away From Petty Arguments

In most organizations you will find past grudges, ongoing feuds and petty arguments. Your team must avoid getting sucked into them even if they think they can solve them. It is a sign of maturity to know when something is petty and when it is not. Your team must know when to jump in and when to sit back and listen.

Stand Up For What is Right, Not Just What is Popular

Wise people often sit back and listen, but do not hesitate to stand up for what is right even if it is unpopular. Teach your team that it is time to stand up for what is right when someone is being treated in a way that they themselves would not want to be treated.

Look At All Sides Of an Issue

There is great value for your team members in seeing issues from as many sides as possible. It always pays for your team to avoid being dogmatic in their thinking.

Don’t Protect Your Turf

Politics is often about power. People who want to win at all costs, fight and scrap to keep everything that belongs to them. Your team members should look at what is best for the team and not only best for themselves. If they have to give up some space to help the team, then they must be encouraged to do that. What matters the most is the team.

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

To develop trust with others, your team must be credible and consistent. Trust is only achieved when what you say, what you do and what you say you do all match up.

Related: Trust Outcome Based Team Building Aactivities

 

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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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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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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 Responsibility for Team Leaders

The Importance of Responsibility for Team Leaders

These days it seems people focus more on their rights than their responsibilities. Effective team leaders never embrace a victim mentality. They recognize that who and where they are in life remain their responsibility. They face whatever life throws at them, and they give it their best. Remember that failure to hit the bull’s eye is never the fault of the target. To hit the target you need to improve your aim, and you can only improve your aim by improving yourself.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Characteristics of Team Leaders Who Embrace Responsibility

They get the Job done. As a team leader, you cannot do the minimum but yet expect to reach your maximum potential. If you are an employee, one way you can maintain a get-it-done attitude is by thinking of yourself as self-employed. This approach will help you achieve more and build credibility with your team.

They are willing to go the extra mile. Responsible team leaders never protest that something is not their job. They are ready to do whatever it takes to complete the work needed by their organization. If you want to succeed as a leader, you have to be willing to put the needs of the organization above your agenda.

They are driven by excellence. Excellence is always a great motivator. Responsible leaders desire excellence and work hard to achieve it. Make high quality your goal and responsibility will follow naturally.

They produce regardless of the situation. The ultimate quality of a responsible team leader is the ability to finish. A leader who takes responsibility, finish and follows through to the final details is a leader that will be a success more often than not. They are leaders to whom you can entrust an assignment knowing it will be efficiently and conscientiously completed.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Responsibility

Keep hanging in there. An inability to deliver in difficult circumstances could be due to a persistence problem. Next time when you find yourself in a situation where it looks like you are going to fail, stop and figure out a way to succeed. Think outside the lines. Creativity can often help to bring responsibility to life.

Set higher standards. You may have difficulty achieving merely because you have lowered your standards. Make changes to set higher standards. Reset the bar of excellence for yourself.

Find better tools. If you are still not achieving the success the way you want to, you may need to better equip yourself. Improve your skills by taking classes, reading books and listening to DVD’s. Find a mentor, do whatever it takes to become better at what you do.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of a Positive Attitude for Team Leaders

The Importance of a Positive Attitude for Team Leaders

Leaders, who are achieving lasting success, are those leaders who possess a positive outlook on life. To be an effective team leader it essential that you have a positive outlook on life. A positive attitude not only determines your level of contentment it also impacts how others interact with you.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

A Positive Attitude is a Choice

As a team leader, you should never wait for someone else to motivate you. Do not let the circumstances dictate the way you think. No matter what may have transpired yesterday, your attitude today is your choice.

Your Attitude Determines Your Actions

Success is not always the result of a high IQ or exceptional talent. Your attitude is always more important than your aptitude. A positive attitude is important because your attitude will determine your actions.

Your Team is a Mirror of Your Attitude

A team leader cannot have a poor attitude and at the same time expect the team members to be positive. The positive attitude of a leader not only fuels the leader, but it also encourages the team to keep pressing on until they succeed. As a team leader, one of your goals should be to pass on your positive attitude to your team.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

If you already have a positive attitude, it is crucial that you work on maintaining it. Maintaining a positive attitude is better than trying to regain one. If you struggle to expect the best of yourself and your team, remember you can change it because you can choose your attitude.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Attitudes

Feed on a steady diet of positive and motivational material. Start feeding yourself with a regular diet of motivational books and talks. The more negative you are, the longer it will take to turn your attitude around. A steady diet of positivity will transform you into a positive thinker.

Achieve a goal a day. If team leaders feel that they are not making progress, it may cause them to fall into a rut of negativity. Team leaders can overcome this by setting achievable daily goals for themselves. A pattern of positive achievement will help develop a pattern of positive thinking.

Put up reminders of positivity. Put up reminders in your work area and home to keep your thoughts positive. You can put up awards, inspirational posters or positive letters you received. Find something that will work for you.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Focus for Team Leaders

The Importance of Focus for Team Leaders

Priorities and concentration are the keys to focus. When team leaders have the right priorities but no concentration, they will know what to do but it will never get done. On the opposite side of the scale, if leaders have concentration but no priorities they will have excellence without progress. Only leaders that harness both have the potential to do great things. When it comes to focus, team leaders must remember not to major in the minor things.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Guidelines on How Team Leaders Can Focus Their Time and Energy

Focus 70 Percent of Your Time on Your Strengths
Successful team leaders spend more time focusing on what they do well then on what they do not do well. Strength is always specific. For team leaders to reach their potential, they have to focus on developing their strengths. Most of their time, energy and resources should go in the area of their strengths.

Focus 25 Percent of Your Time on New Things
Growth requires change. For team leaders to grow they have to keep changing and improving themselves. They have to step out into new areas and dedicate time to new things related to their areas of strength.

Focus 5 Percent of Your Time on Your Areas of Weakness
Team leaders cannot entirely avoid working in their areas of weakness. The key is to minimize the time spend working in those areas by delegating as many of these tasks as possible.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Focus

Shift to Strengths
Make a list of three to four activities in your job that you do well. Work out more or less what percentage of time you spend on those activities and the percentage of resources dedicated to these areas of strength. Make the necessary changes so that you spend 70 percent of your time on your strong areas.

Related: Time Management Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Staff Your Weakness
Identify three to four activities of your job that you do not do well. Determine how you can delegate the activities to others. You may need to hire staff or partner with a co-worker to share the responsibilities.

Create an Edge
Determine what it would take to go to the next level in the main area of your strength. What are the new tools that you need? Rethink the way you do things and be willing to make sacrifices. Resources that you spend to take you to the next level is the best investment you can make.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Preparation in Teamwork

The Importance of Preparation in Teamwork

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

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 Discipline in Teamwork

The Importance of Discipline in Teamwork

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.

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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