Team Development: Cultivating Positive Change
For a great many companies, teamwork is an essential ingredient in the formula for success. The old adage about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link often holds true in the real world, and so without a sound team development strategy, your business might not be realizing its full potential. Of course, an effective team starts with a strong leader, underscoring the importance of personal development before focusing on the unit as a whole.
As a manager, have you stepped back and evaluated yourself honestly and applied the same standards of accountability you place on your subordinates Are you focused on drawing out the best in yourself by continually learning, growing and developing creative solutions when roadblocks arise These are important considerations to make, as a team rarely excels in any area their leader does not, and self-development often begins with self-awareness.
Whenever engaging in efforts to develop people, it’s important to take a measured approach to the process. Team development is, at its heart, a form of teaching, and learning new concepts takes timeïmore for some than for others. That’s why it’s crucial to remain patient and temper your expectations as a manager. By attempting to rush this type of process, you risk changing a teaching experience into one which feels more akin to corrective action, a whole new can of worms which you’d prefer to keep closed.
Shawn Kent Hayashi, author of Conversations for Creating Star Performers, suggests that workers are less receptive to being corrected than to being educated. That’s because corrective efforts feel like trying to fix faults, and naturally, no one wants to feel like a flawed individual. By striving for patient, positive-minded results, you can help your team remain focused and create a culture of inclusion, rather than one where employees feel separated into groups of those who are on track and those who are not.
Start at the Top
Anytime you seek to instill specific values or behaviors into members of your team, you should ensure that they’re those which you consistently display yourself. For example, if you were training a team on the benefits of proper phone etiquette in the workplace, it would not be ideal if you answered calls with ïYeahï Regardless of the setting, the message ïdo what I say, not what I doï rarely results in the desired outcome.
Team development requires effort from every member of said team, including the person who leads the way. As a manager, make sure your staff sees the same effort from you which you are requesting from them. By displaying your dedication to continued learning and personal improvement, as well as your focus on drawing out the potential in those around you, you’ll be much more likely to win the respect and commitment you need to succeed.
Aspirations and Activities
Your team development strategy should be based around positive ideas and concepts, keeping your staff members focused on moving onward and upward rather than working to stay off the hot seat. One of the best ways to promote positivity is to create opportunities and activities which help guide your team toward its goals in a fair, balanced fashion.
Consider conducting surveys or initiating open communication policies so that your team feels more comfortable stating their opinions. By soliciting input from workers, you show them that they’re not simply filling positions but are truly valued members of the company whose ideas are worth hearing. You might even consider making such activities part of an out-of-office daytrip or other team-building activity, allowing for honest communication without the pressure of the regular work environment.
In terms of creating a positive-minded forum, be sure also to recognize wins regularly. It might sound silly to compare a crew of office workers to a sports team, but there are reasons athletes are constantly slapping high-fives and patting each other on the back: it creates cohesion and strengthens the bond of the unit. So don’t be afraid to celebrate successïrecognition requires comparatively little time or effort, but when applied regularly, it can offer very substantial returns.
Trust the Process
When it comes to team development, it’s important always to remember that the fruits of coaching and teaching are not always harvested as quickly as you might prefer. Each person is different, as is each day, so it might often feel like you’re taking a step back for every two forward. This is not a sign of lost progress, but simply of the complexities of people and team development as a whole.
Remain focused on your goals of creating a more efficient and tightly-knit staff and remember to lead by example, with a focus on positive reinforcement. For more help developing a winning team development strategy, please make use of the other helpful resources here at Mighty Recruiter.