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Tag Archives: Team Building

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7 Tools To Create And Nourish Effective Teams

Trevor No Comments

“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb.

As the African proverb suggests, the key to go far in life is teamwork, and the key to effective teamwork is having the best team.

Gathering lessons from great businesses like Zappos and Whole Foods, we’ve put together a short but insightful list of tools to help you build (and nurture) the “A-Team” that will take your company further!

  1. Identify a positive team leader

As teams go through the four stages of building: forming, storming, norming and performing, leaders are the ones who normally keep the group together. Their balancing influence is key to solve conflict, open dialogue and communicate goals as members get to know each other and their project.

If you want to assess your team leader’s effectiveness check out Lindsay Sherwin’s “Team Leader Effectiveness Checklist”!

 

 View From Product Marketing - Team Leadership [Digital Image]. (2016, January 12). Retrieved October 03, 2016, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-12-view-from-product-marketing-team-leadership-mark-lewis

L,M. View From Product Marketing – Team Leadership [Digital Image]. (2016, January 12). Retrieved October 03, 2016, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-12-view-from-product-marketing-team-leadership-mark-lewis

2. Define and agree on common mission and values

Before you get the team into project specifics, all members must be on the same page regarding team mission and values.

Knowing the mission gives team members direction, and while each member will be performing a different task, they will all gear their efforts towards the same goal.

Common values, on the other hand, create coexistence rules. They synchronize individuals at a personal level, encouraging a smoother and happier work environment. They also align people to cherish and respect each other, increasing team member loyalty.

To better understand the importance of team values, I invite you to watch Zappos & Whole Food’s core value videos. Here you will see how coming together as individuals is crucial to excel together as professionals.

 

 

3. Create a collective team Charter

 If the mission tells members where to go, the charter tells them how to get there.

Both a roadmap and a treaty, the charter acts as a common agreement between members to set the team’s work plan, commitments, responsibilities and desired results. It can also be used to set boundaries and outline other information the team considers important.

The charter must be completed collectively to ensure every member is aware of the working strategy and happy about it.

So, if you’re ready to start planning, try out Plays-In-Business.com “Team Charter Canvas” and get the team going!

4. Give thought to team bonding activities

 When people like and trust each other, teamwork becomes more efficient and effective.

Bonding activities build trust, improve communication and encourage collaboration amongst members. And, you don’t have to invest a fortune to yield incredible results.

From ropes courses to icebreakers and pizza days, bonding is all about getting your team together to talk and laugh in pressure-free settings.

Not sure what to do? Go ahead and visit Wrike’s “Ultimate Guide To Team Building Activities That Don’t Suck”. And if you’re still not convinced, here’s the “Team Building Directory” with free ideas for every type of team!

hult-team-building

Photo Credit: Katia Arias

5. Employ psychological instruments to understand your talent

To ensure the best task-talent fit, experts suggest you run team psychology tests. These allow you to understand your members’ strengths and weaknesses in both personal and professional realms.

The tests instruct you on your members’ communication styles, their view on work standards (quality, work pace, etc.) and their view on teamwork. And provide you with clear information on the tasks that each member would excel or struggle with.

Following, are some of the most used psychological instruments for teams in business:

a. DiSC Profile: tells you how each team member responds to conflict, what stresses them, their communication styles and their motivations.
b. Shadowmatch:  shows you each team member’s behavior patterns and habits.
c. The Enneagram Type: categorizes team members in one of nine personality types to help understand their behavior and motivations.
d. The Color Code: focuses on personality types and highlights the participant’s strengths and limitations.

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Here are my results on the Color Code Test!

 

6. Encourage constant feedback sessions

Every certain time teams need to be steered back onto the right direction. Whether it relates to work goals or personal attitudes, feedback allows your members to see where they’re at and where they should be.

To promote fruitful feedback sessions, team-building experts suggest you carry them in pressure-free environments and appoint a moderator to ease the conversation.

If you want to improve at giving feedback or simply are new to the task, I encourage you to visit Officevibe’s “Employee Feedback: The Complete Guide” for more tools and advise.

 

7. Empower the team

And finally, keep your people updated!

If you want better results then you must keep your team engaged in the learning loop. Take your people on field trips, give them access to online courses, offer reading material. There is an endless world of possibility when it comes to continual education!  And not only your teammates will thank you but your company will too.

 

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If you found this post useful, please let us know in the comments!

And don’t forget to stay tuned for our next post on Women Leadership…

team building

4 Easy Team Building Activities for Any Company

Trevor No Comments

Team building is about focusing a group’s energy on problem solving, task effectiveness, and maximizing the use of available resource to achieve a common goal. Team building involves a variety of activities and discussions that create a climate that encourages and values contributions of the team members.

Most companies plan one or two events per year to address the issue of team building; but the reality of the matter is that, in order to create a strong team, frequent activities are necessary. A solid team is the result of constant practice; a professional athlete doesn’t train one or two days a year, they train constantly. In the same manner, company leaders should seek frequent team building activities that will strengthen the company as a whole.

Team building serves and addresses different team issues, so before you begin make sure you identify the areas that need improvement; some common challenges are:

– communications kills.

– leadership skills

– personality differences

 

Here are some examples of activities

back to back team building activitiy

Back-to-Back Drawing 

Divide your group into pairs, and have each pair sit on the floor back to back. Give one person in each pair a picture of a shape, and give the other person a pencil and pad of paper.

Ask the people holding the pictures to give verbal instructions to their partners on how to draw the shape – without actually telling the partners what the shape is. After they’ve finished, ask each pair to compare their original shape with the actual drawing, and consider the following questions:

– How well did the first person describe the shape?

– How well did the second person interpret the instructions?

– Were there problems with both the sending and receiving parts of the communication process?

Activity from mindtools.com 

 

Following activities from onlineexpert.com

dancing team building

Push-Push

Time: 1–2 minutes

Purpose: Releases anxiety and reinforces idea of cooperation

Participants: Partners

Materials needed: None

Instructions: Partners face each other and place hands palm to palm. Partner A is told to

push as hard as possible. Next, Partner B is told not to push but to move their hands in a

gentle swaying motion.

Desired outcome: When you push, others push back; when you dance, others follow

your lead

mood buttons team building

Wear Your Attitude

Time: A few seconds

Purpose: Encourages all to be conscious of attitudes they are displaying

Participants: Everyone can play

Materials needed: Attitude buttons

Instructions:

Have buttons or laminated cards with a variety of attitudes on them; such as happy,

angry, friendly, generous, sad, worried, excellent, etc. As each person enters work, allow

them to pick the attitude they would like to display. People who pick unattractive ones

can be avoided and the pleasant ones will get all the smiles, encouragement, and

positive attention.

Anyone can change their ‘button attitude’ at any time.

Desired outcome: Bring awareness about how transparent our moods are and what we

get as a result.

 

mingle before meeting team building

Purpose Mingle

Time: One minute

Purpose: Focus participants before the meeting begins

Participants: Everyone attending the meeting

Materials needed: None

Instructions:

Before the meeting begins, everyone must stand up and tell as many others as they can in

one minute what they hope to contribute to the meeting.

For best results, offer a simple prize for the most people contacted and a bigger prize for

the most generous contribution expressed.

Desired outcome: Allows players to think about what they will give to a meeting rather

than what they will get. Encourages participation from the start.

 

Other sources: exforsys.com

 

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