Many people will tell you that the success of any venture lies in the hands of the leader. This seems to be the case in most fields and even though there are usually whole teams involved, it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that the team works together and that there are no inner quarrels. How can one achieve that, you ask? It’s simple if you’re a responsible enough leader. First thing is…
Know your team
Whether you’re the boss, a manager or a team leader, you must always know what is going on in your team. If you’re going to work with these people, you need to be interested in them and find out what drives them. You need to be familiar with work motivation, what usually worries them or makes them anxious (it might be something you are doing and can fix), how are they treated and how they treat other members of the team and what do they think of you. All of these aspects of building a successful team are crucial. You need to know everything that is going on between the members. Who likes whom, who dislikes whom, who prefers to work with whom, etc. You need to let them know they can always count on you and that you’re there not just as an authority figure but as someone who actually cares. That’s why not everybody was cut out to be a leader. You need to be familiar with the inner workings of the hive mind that is supposed to be your team. Your team has to be like a well oiled-machine – different parts must be able to seamlessly work together. If you put two people who can’t stand each to work together, you can expect bad results. You need to recognize the fact that you’re working with people with their own emotions and personalities. The better you can adjust their work based on what you know about them, the better results your endeavor will yield.
The team needs to trust you, but they also need to be able to trust each other. Team building exercises are a great way to make this happen. If you have the financial opportunity, take your team out of town. Put them in a new setting and they will see each other in a different light. This is a critical part of the whole process. If you want to have a productive team, this is a very important step. Taking them out of their comfort zone is the best strategy into strengthening their working relationships. Also, give them tasks they can’t accomplish without the help of others. Make them realize they need to rely on their coworkers if they want to be successful in their job because ultimately that’s what it’s all about.
Once you’ve taken them out of their comfort zone, you have a small window of opportunity to make them get to know each other. Group sharing is a great way to do it. Most of them will not like the idea and will be embarrassed, but that’s the point – they will be introduced on a common ground and will pretty much say the same things and find out what they have in common with other people. Did you know that sometimes people have much more in common than they think but since they don’t communicate they can never build a relationship? Well, this exercise will change all of that and will hopefully help your team recover from their preconceived notions.
Treat everyone equally
You need to treat everyone equally. There is nothing more annoying than seeing someone else receive preferential treatment because of reasons you might not even understand. If you’re giving out bonuses or are rewarding someone, make sure everyone knows it’s not because of who they are, but because of the outstanding work they’ve done.