Teams Articles (click here for more)
2001 Lisa Simmons.
Tips on Team Building
By: Lisa Simmons
|Lisa has over 15 years experience as a human services manager & QMRP. She is also a licensed teacher & certified quality management facilitator. Currently she is the Director of The Ideal Lives Project. Visit her on the web at www.ideallives.com or contact her at Lisasim@peakonline.com
In this day & age teamwork
is the word of the day. As supervisors we all rely on the quality
& dedication of our teams to "get the job done". If you New Year's
resolution was to set a fire under your team & get them pulling together
instead of apart -- read on!
What's are our final words of wisdom? Be persistent! Remember
success comes when your team keeps trying when everyone else has given
There will be times when you simply wonít have all the answers. Admit youíre
only human & search for the solutions together. Trying to fool "most
of the people, most of the time" only results in making you look foolish
& reducing your credibility as a leader.
a good memory.
By remembering & bringing
up ideas or comments made by team members you show them not only that you
were listening, but that you felt their ideas had merit. For example,
a team member shares a promising idea or story with you in the hallway.
At the next team meeting, give that team member the lead. ďJohn,
you had an interesting comment on this the other day. Why donít you
share that idea with the rest of the team.Ē
- Use group time wisely.
Donít waste the teamís time
going over information that needs to be digested & analyzed for quality
reactions. Use your time together to focus on issues that demand
interaction & group perspective.
get bogged down in large, complicated issues.
If the group is to large
to really discuss a "meaty" issues, then use the team time to break it
down into small manageable tasks & divide responsibility among
team members. At your next meeting each small group can report back
& the full team can decide how to proceed.
the first step.
When a final solution isnít
obvious - figure out a first step & start moving down the path that
you want to follow. Frequently the rest of the solution will become
obvious as you move in that direction.
in each otherís shoes.
Encourage team members too
verbally or physically experience each otherís perspectives. Nothing
else works quite the same magic in terms of opening people up to consensus
each otherís time.
Let individual team members set up ďDo not disturbĒ work times. Honor theirs & expect them
to honor yours.
Many wonderful teaching
moments will result from casual conversations with your team members.
As they talk about an issue that concerns them, use the opportunity to
reassure them of your faith in their skills as well as to add to their
knowledge base. Do they understand the core issues at stake?
Do they need additional information or resources to find a solution?
Are their values in conflict with whatís happening? Often your most
powerful teaching tool will be to ask questions & let the person work
through their thoughts out loud. They come to the conclusion on their
own & feel better about what needs to be done than if you had simply
handed them the "to doĒ list.
- Use your own & your teamís uniqueness.
Capitalize on the special
talents of individual team members to give each project your special signature
of quality. Aside from ending up with a better product or service,
you reinforce to team members their value & worth to the team.
- Accept your limitations (or grow beyond them).
Once you have identified
a weakness in your team, determine its impact on meeting your goal.
If itís going to be a major stumbling block, figure out as a team how you
are going to eliminate or compensate for the weakness.
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