Team Building from Within

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What does it take to have a team with great team spirit and teamwork? Some leaders take team building to an unnecessary level. You don’t need to hire a firm or consultant from outside your organization to achieve this. Team building does not require hiring a third party, performing assessments, or structured testing.

Keep it simple! Get to know your own team, encourage them to get to know each other, and get involved. Take time out of your day to talk with each staffer. Depending on the size of your team this could take a few minutes or an hour, but it is important. This does not necessarily mean getting personal–you can keep it business. It really is up to you. Just create an ongoing dialogue with each team member and incorporate that time into your daily routine.

During your dialog with each team member, it is okay to share things you like and what you are passionate about. Find out the same from them if they are willing to share. If you allow them to get to know you on at least somewhat of a personal level, they will feel more comfortable with you as a person, not just as their boss.

Show them you are passionate about helping them succeed. If they know you are vested in their success, they will have a greater drive to be the best they can be. Understanding each team member’s weaknesses and strengths is also very important. Use this information to develop your daily schedule to not only pull from their strengths but take the opportunity to train areas of improvement.

Another thing to consider is the diverse personalities and drives that may be on a team. When this is present, and it almost always is, you can use it to your advantage. Do you have a cheerleader? Do you have a planner? What about a teacher or mentor? Whatever that individual’s passion is can be identified and used to strengthen the team as a whole.

Cheerleaders are great at ensuring everyone’s birthday is celebrated or reminding you of an upcoming event or holiday your team usually gets together for. Planners are great for keeping schedules on track. Teachers and mentors are great for training and identifying areas of improvement. There are of course other roles on a team, you just need to identify them and use the team members where they fit best.

You know your team better than anyone else in the building–and if you do not, now is the time to start. When your team feels comfortable with you and each other, everything else will fall into place.

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