As a leader, you know that one of your most vital responsibilities is to lead your team, those direct reports who link to the rest of your organization, executing on its vision. As such, your team is an extension of your leadership style. As you model certain behaviors, those on your team learn effective strategies for management and effective self-discipline that connect to, strengthen, and fuel the entire culture.
No doubt about it, you count on your team to help you achieve your goals. And you need them to help in ways that allow you to support your Vital Few, those 20 percent of activities that net 80 percent of the results.
But here the truth: You can’t count on a team unless it’s a great one. And a great team starts with teambuilding, getting that right in the first place.
While there are lots of ways to build strong teams, here are three tips to kickin’ things off right:
- Recognize great teamwork starts with you. This means practicing a communication style and acting from a mindset that reflects your values and supports the vision, goals and strategies you’ve set out to achieve. Specifically, you want to choose your words carefully, recognizing that communication is an art, not something to take for granted. Your people will pick up on all the nuances of your communication style, so keep its power in mind and use it wisely. As well, recognize that your behavior and attitude are critical in establishing, managing and sustaining a culture of teamwork. The energy you bring to your team can cause that ship to sink or set sail and stay the course.
- Steer clear of team-building fads and tricks. They’re a dime a dozen and can complicate your job to empower and nurture your team effectively. Since 1960, we’ve been training leaders to empower teams by focusing on proven fundamentals backed, importantly, by an accountability system that ensures teamwork and gets results. Our consultants know the common teamwork challenges and how to address them, course correct and institute change that brings about success. Whether you’re using The MAP Management System™ and the fundamentals around which we coach or you’ve got another approach, keep your focus. This doesn’t mean there’s not room for curiosity and creativity around how you roll out team-building tactics. But it does mean that your team-building goals and strategies are rooted in those fundamental best practices.
- Focus on what’s right. This goes back to that positive attitude, but focusing on what’s right about your team versus harping on what’s always wrong is one of the fastest ways to undermine teamwork. Make it a daily practice to find and communicate what’s working in regard to teamwork. Notice when people make both expected efforts and unexpected efforts to show up, pitch in, collaborate, share, support, lift up others, forgive and solve problems together, etc. Odds are, some version of your company values is Teamwork, so consider creating a rewards program around this value, spotlighting and reinforcing why it matters. Really commit to celebrating those who live this value as part of the team.
Is it time for a teamwork tune-up? MAP Consulting can help. Contact Us today!