Your Team Can't Be A Winner Unless You Are A Thinking Team Builder

  • Added:
    Nov 22, 2012
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Team building is something we hear a lot about in business.  A great deal of lip service is paid to it, and yet, we often find that we are working in a group of people who feel very far from being a team.

There are numerous team building courses and exercises,  ranging from the excellent to the hopeless, and it's sometimes hard to tell the difference. It's not unknown to spend a great deal of money on a course which can turn out to do more harm than good.  The effects of even the best team building exercise won't last unless you yourself are committed to being a great team leader.

In a good team, each person is first and foremost valued as an individual.  We all need to feel important and special, and treating everybody as if they have the same motivation just doesn't work.  As a team building leader, it's your job to really understand each player. For example, some people like responsibility, others need the comfort of being told what to do at every stage.  Treat them both as if they are responsibility takers, or responsibility shirkers, and only one of them will perform well.

You also need to be aware of how team members interact.  Put two people together who both want to to be the boss, and sparks will fly.  Put two dependent people together, and no decisions will be made.  Mix up your human ingredients so that people are working in the way which feels most comfortable and productive to them.

Always honor success, and honor failure too.  It's important that your team knows that it can try and fail.  Just so long as everyone is making a big effort and working together, you will succeed more often than you fail.  If we stop trying to go into space every time a mission fails, then we will never reach for the stars.

The thinking leader is realistic and demanding at the same time.  He or she understands that when it comes to team building, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts thereof.  Maybe you've inherited Derek from Accounts, who is coming up to retirement and seems to have lost interest in work.  He's on the payroll, and it's your job to find the niche in your team that will make him useful and effective.  Maybe he is a good trainer, or encourager of younger people.  Maybe he is great at systematic data collection and recording.  Perhaps he was a great center forward in his day, now he needs his chance as a holding midfield player, to use a soccer analogy.

The thinking team builder can always create a winning and happy team, with a productive place for everyone.

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