Team building is fundamental to everything, from productivity through to performance and business culture. It can support an organisation through tough times and create new opportunities through collaboration and shared innovation. If you’re keen to foster a culture based on strong team building then there are some simple ways to enable this.
Clear communication is essential if you want to foster cooperation between people – anything ambiguous is likely to just cause confusion and, potentially, conflict. Opening channels for communication is also an important part of the process. This is most effectively done by leading by example, asking questions, listening, offering support and being open to queries or concerns.
Focusing on consensus
It is faster to make a decision on your own and then impose it on the rest of the team. However, this is not necessarily the most effective method. Consensus takes longer but ultimate provides a firmer basis for collaboration and problem solving. The key is to establish a consensus process you can work through each time, such as open debate with the entire team or smaller working groups to focus on specific issues.
Fostering trust and collaboration
It’s as important to have positive relationships between team members as it is between the team and those who are managing it. Strong team building involves an element of looking at the way that team members are interacting and finding opportunities to help improve the trust and collaboration in those relationships. It may be necessary to establish ground rules for the team that provide a foundation for all interactions within it. This could be anything, from the way that information is shared, to conduct in meetings and communication choices. Ground rules established by consensus are likely to make the most impact.
Getting people talking is a key part of team building and ensuring that your people are as effective as they can be. It’s often difficult for employees to speak up in a team environment – or you may find that some are concerned about disagreeing with the views of others. However, open debate is key to creating a strong team so it’s important to find ways to encourage the kind of brainstorming and discussion that inspires creativity and better decision making.
Providing a firm framework
Team building is much easier and more effective within a well defined framework. This means finding ways to ensure that you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and setting out goals and objectives. Talk to those in the team about their goals and how they’re achieving those goals and provide feedback and evaluation on a regular and consistent basis.
Act as a harmonising influence
When there is healthy discussion and debate taking place it is inevitable that at some point there may be conflict. If management and leadership aim to act as a harmonising influence, alert to the hidden feelings of the team and ready to mediate and help find compromise then these conflicts can often lead to better things.
Our Team Building Course is designed to help you find ways to get the best from the people you work with – contact PTP today to find out more.