Why do teams win? In sports or business, teams win because they have structure, guidance and support. Winning teams have a coach who is there to lead, guide, and instruct them. Did these teams just magically appear? No! Each player is assessed for their talent, skills, abilities, strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, coaches also look at how each player communicates with one another. They look for team work and chemistry.
This directly correlates with business as well. When building a team, it is important to remember all the factors that to go into team building. Not looking at all the components could cause the group to fail!
Getting everyone on the same page is key. There are certain things that every team needs such as time, tools and even a budget. The most important thing is support. Communicating with other managers and department heads from the beginning, allows everyone to know the expectations and the importance of the team’s goals.
So how can you build a team of winners? We have pinpointed 5 key roadblocks to avoid in order to build an effective and winning team.
1 – Failure to Establish Conditions for Team Effectiveness.
One word…compatibility. More often than not, people look for one thing: skills. When building a team – skills and experience matter, but so do fit, chemistry and motives. To find compatibility, we highly recommend the use of assessments in order to understand the core behaviors and learning styles of each individual team member.
2 – Failure to Establish Goals.
Without establishing a clear concise goal, the team has nothing to work towards. When you get a group of people together who have different perspectives, they are more inclined to get off track. Setting goals allows individuals to focus on specific tasks which will drive performance. Make sure that the goals of the team are clearly communicated to everyone in the organization so everyone knows what the end result should be.
3 – Failure to Establish a Decision-Making Process.
Create a process that will set the standards for making objective decisions. Every team needs a leader and the leader should be viewed as a facilitator. The job of the leader is to focus, motivate and make tough decisions when the team cannot agree on a decision. Remember, a decision is actually someone’s choice. Let the team know if they have the right to make decisions. If the team cannot come to a unanimous decision then the leader should step in. Set a process so the team has ‘x’ amount of time to come to a decision. If no decision is reached, then the leader will decide.
4 – Failure to Establish Expectations.
From the beginning, the leader should lay out exactly what is expected of the team as a whole as well as each team member. Letting them know the rules and procedures will set the tone and structure that will allow everyone to contribute. A couple of examples would be to tell the team that you encourage collaboration and educated risk-taking or let everyone know that there may be some uncertainty and that testing different approaches and taking smart risks is necessary for achieving the best result. When the team hears this, they know they are expected to work together, take risks, and test different approaches for a better result.
5 – Failure to Understand Communication.
It is important to create an environment that allows team members to voice their opinions in an open and honest manner. To keep people motivated and on track you need to allow each team member to voice their own opinion. Let them know that they can discuss this in meetings or that there is an open door policy. Understanding how each team member communicates is crucial. That is why it is essential to assess team members. Being able to recognize individual behaviors and traits of each team member beforehand will better prepare the team leader. They will know how each person communicates, learns, solves problems and works with others. Knowing each person’s individual style will allow the leader to direct conversations with minimum conflict.
Building and managing a team is hard work. A key factor for an effective team is to make sure everyone in the organization understands the purpose of the team. Without support from everyone, including the CEO, the team is bound to fail. To avoid failure remember to assess each individual, set goals, create a process for decision making, establish norms, and have open communication. Avoid these 5 team building blunders and you will have a winning team!
How do you create and manage a winning team?