The best teams aren’t just a random conglomeration of strong team members, just as a quality jewelry chain isn’t simply a bunch of precious metal strung together. Fine gold doesn’t gain any value if it’s soldered together without care, and the same is true for your work teams. Approaching team building with the right resources and level of consideration lets you increase the value of each member’s contribution and ensure a culture where everyone supports each other in a positive, productive manner. One way organizations can invest in their teams is via customized team development training.
An effective team is a collaborative unit that's able to work toward a common goal successfully. If your team is dysfunctional in any way, you'll see a failure to meet your goals or a delay in meeting them, as well as fractured relationships and non-productive interaction between team members.
Turnkey Coaching and Development Solution's team development program focusing on the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team provides a highly useful metric by which to evaluate your own work team or leadership team.
Former professional basketball player Phil Jackson once said, "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." That quote says everything about the importance of working together and developing trust — each team member is weakened if the group isn't cohesive and working toward common goals. The team as a unit is strengthened when everyone communicates, works together and applies their unique talents and skills in logical, cooperative ways.
Louisa May Alcott, author of the classic book Little Women puts it even more succinctly. She says, "It takes two flints to make a fire." Organizations that want to light a fire within work groups must bring the right people together and help them understand how to strike against each other in positive ways to create the right flames.
Your team development program must include a way to assess whether your development efforts are working. The Harvard Business Review recommends paying attention to the team's output and the ability of the team to collaborate, as well as individual assessments of each of the team members.
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Progress Report provides a template for just such an assessment, allowing you to pinpoint areas of improvement to celebrate and build on as well as those ways in which your team still needs to improve.
If a team is truly working together in a relationship of mutual accountability, the Progress Report makes that clear. It also shows obstacles to development and paves the way for team members to assess their own collaboration.
How Well Does Everyone Know Each Other?
Even the most awkward first dates get a run for their money when new coworkers are suddenly thrust onto a project together. The lack of a clear leader, being unfamiliar with each other's working styles, clashing approaches to problem-solving and fear-induced timidity can all contribute to discomfort and substandard progress. You're unlikely to jump into the deep-end of discussion over introductory cocktails, and you need a similar “getting to know you” period in professional environments. Simply learning about teammates' perceived strengths and weaknesses, work histories and even hobbies breaks the ice and gives everyone equal footing and an equal voice from the outset.
Is Your Structure Lopsided?
You've got a good view from your managerial perch. Use it to survey your team and see whether certain parties are pulling more weight than others. Weak links aren't necessarily a cause for expulsion but rather an opportunity to redistribute tasks or probe the source of subpar performance to see whether there aren't more deep-seated issues threatening your team's foundation. Take note of sagging morale and consistent complaints either originating from or directed at particular team members; these red flags are open doors allowing you to address problems before they hit critical mass.
Would Your Team Benefit From a Change in Perspective?
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your group is to shake up the routine. Sending everyone on a company retreat can be helpful in some instances, but often, the same problems arise once everyone is back in familiar territory, rededicated to the same tasks and without a new structure in place to prevent backsliding. Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions defies the odds and helps new habits take root by getting to the heart of what makes each team special. Rather than offering one-time events or a remote classroom setting where you send managers for a day or a week, our programs are customized to the hilt, taking each client's needs, goals and supervisory structure into account. Your experiences and ambitions help shape who you are, and they should help shape your work team training too.
What Is the Collective Goal?
Answer this question yourself, and then pose it to each team member individually. If the responses don't match, you've identified a major obstacle. Often, our focus is on the next milestone, and we can't see the forest for the trees. We work at capacity (or beyond) to meet an immediate deadline without much thought as to where we're ultimately going and certainly not how we're going to get there. Collaborative endeavors only prevail if everyone's efforts are in sync. Think of a rowboat: If there are four oars pulling in different directions, you'll never get anywhere. Confusion over team objectives is a symptom of more widespread miscommunication, and you're bound to see more evidence the closer you look.
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team leadership team training and development program is tailored to meet your organization's very specific and unique needs and culture. Through training, coaching and team development, you can facilitate trust, strengthen your team members’ ability to deal with conflicts, and their collaborative skills, all of which come together to produce the results you want your executive and work teams to achieve.
When you're able to harness the talents and personalities of your team members to work together cohesively toward a common goal, everyone benefits. Imagine your team making smart decisions together, tapping into each person's special abilities, and staying focused cooperatively to get results. That's the kind of teamwork that provides your organization with the ability to compete at its best.
The constituent parts of anything — a vehicle, recipe or composition — determine its efficiency and success. Some components have major operational roles while others perform smaller essential tasks, but every element counts, and all of them require regular maintenance. The same rules apply within businesses. When you provide your work teams and cross-functional teams with well-planned team development courses, you nurture individual professional growth and increase company prosperity in general.
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