Updated April 24, 2023
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people”
– Steve Jobs
Team Building Techniques –
Steve Jobs always inspires you because you know what he speaks is the truth. We can tell ourselves a million times that the best work in our life was done by us alone, but we all know the truth, there were always a group of people behind our every success.
It may be your highest score in the cricket match you played as a kid or a project you successfully completed in your career; there were people helping with each of your successes. So, even if we feel that we achieved success strictly on our own, it was always a team effort.
There will always come a time when you need a group of people to work alongside you on a project, and you want this group to be your TEAM. You might wonder, what is the difference between a group and a team? It is quite simple, a group of people might not have the same goals as you do and might not have the same agendas, but your team will always share your goals. They might have different personalities and approaches to reaching this goal, but they will still work with you to achieve it.
You can always work alone, then why do you need a team?
“Sometimes the most ordinary work can be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people”
– Nicholas Sparks
You need a team with members with similar interests, attitudes, and tastes to work with you to do something extraordinary. There might be a leader leading this team, but every individual contributes equally as a team member to meet the team’s target.
10 Tips for Team Building Techniques in the Workplace
But a team can only be as good as its members. Here are a few things you must know when you want to build your team-
1. Personalities of Team Members
A team cannot be formed by bringing together a random bunch of people. Ensuring a team succeeds in its endeavors relies greatly on how well the team members gel with each other. If, in such a scenario, a group of people with clashing personalities formed a team, catastrophe is inevitable.
The basic requirement of team building techniques is to get a better-desired result quickly. Still, when individuals with incompatible personalities are brought together, the team is unlikely to produce the desired result, let alone produce it fast.
Often teams are formed by grouping highly qualified individuals with the notion that qualification is much more important than personality. But the truth is, capability and character only go together well when both are focused and used to build connections with other team members.
2. Unity in Diversity
Coming up with new, innovative, and creative ideas is one of the basic functionalities of a team. But getting innovative and creative ideas becomes very difficult in a group with similar thought processes.
Although the personalities of individuals should be similar to be compatible, similarity and like-mindedness in the thought process will not help much when new ideas for a project are considered. Diversity in ethnicity, morals, and thinking is necessary to gain great ideas and innovation from a team.
- You must come out of your comfort zone and build a team of creative and innovative individuals with very different approaches instead of forming a coalition with individuals who think like you and reducing the team’s overall output. Also, it becomes important to maintain unity in these diverse groups. The leader can make this possible only by giving equal opportunities to every team member and not favoring a few.
3. Work vs Fun
People always perceive work as the opposite of fun. Work and fun are the two sides of the same coin. But that doesn’t have to be the scenario all the time. Fun depends on your company, and when at work, your team is your company.
Yes, work needs your concentration and seriousness to be intact, but we shouldn’t forget the popular saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Laughter is the best medicine, a fact, and in a team, the fun can increase productivity by increasing interaction between the members.
Having fun with your team will increase communication and group productivity, help with emotional management, and reduce group negativity, health issues, and stress.
4. Define team structure and hierarchy
We all remember our childhood days of playing cricket with the kids in our neighborhood. The playing the game part hardly took as much time as forming the teams part. Who will be the captain, and who will be whose team led to the worst fights ever? But those fights taught us that defining the proper team structure is crucial.
How a team performs depends greatly on how its captain leads the team. But the decision on who the leader will be is important and a bit dangerous. There can be ego clashes and fights. There might be a lot of ways to deal with this problem, but factors like team goals and culture must make the decision.
Team hierarchy and structure are very important in team-building techniques, whether in business or sports. It might take time, but eventually, the decision must be for the best of the team.
5. Respecting the team members
Respect is very important in any relationship. In a team with individuals of different gender, personalities, and other varieties, respect becomes the core of binding them together and improving the team’s performance.
Whether it is each other’s preferences, backgrounds, or differences, a team must be built on respect because unless and until there is respect for the individuals, neither communication nor humor can bridge the gap between every individual. Respect is an integral part of a team, and all possible measures build and maintain this bond of respect.
6. Team Goals
A team cannot be without a goal. The basic rule in team-building techniques is that a team is only when individuals with similar interests and goals come together. For an analogy, consider a group of boys on a playing field. Boys who want to play cricket will not form teams with boys who want to play football, as they have different goals.
Another problem that may arise in such a situation is that if two cricket teams are formed, then every player in the team might have different goals apart from the ultimate goal of winning the match. Some players might have performance as their first goal, and some might have fun as a preference. These different viewpoints of the same goal can result in friction one must avoid.
A team is just a group of people if the goal is not common. Right from the beginning of team-building techniques, the team’s goals must be made clear, and only individuals with similar goals must be considered possible team members.
7. Communication- the real work in team-building techniques
We discussed personalities, innovative ideas, and goals were important factors in team building, but there is a quote-
“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”
– Lee Lacocca
If you want to build a team for a project and you cannot communicate your ideas and goals through a group of people, you will have to face failure. Communication solves many problems, and the absence of it is the main reason behind any team’s performance issues.
The main reason for team building techniques is to finish a project quickly and effectively, which can be achieved only when 3 to 4 people are working on the same task instead of a single individual. Trust and team integrity can only be on the basis of the honesty of the communication. If team members share all the information related to the project they are working on and their feelings, total trust can be established between them. But sans communication, this team of 3-4 members can be as good as not touching the project.
8. Avoid the formation of groups within a team.
Cliques can be a major factor contributing to the team’s lack of communication and poor performance. Team members might relate to a selected few based on their similar backgrounds and lifestyles. This can lead to forming smaller groups within a team or cliques.
It is natural for team members of the same locality or having kids or other similar interests to bond and form micro-cultures within a team. Though unavoidable, the problem of cliques can be handled with maturity by not favoring a particular clique over others. When all the team members feel they are being treated equally, the negativity surrounding the situation will be somehow reduced.
9. Versatile team members
Let’s go back to our previous analogy of a group of boys who want to play cricket and another who wants to play football. Consider a change in scenario and picture a ground not big enough to allow both groups of boys to play their desired sports. Now, what do they do?
Since this is just a simple daily routine, evening sports time for the kids in the neighborhood, and the only goal of these two groups of boys is to enjoy the evening and have fun. So, the best outcome would be that the two groups of boys merge and play one game together. What would happen then is, if they decide to play cricket, the group of boys who love to play football will bring their football skills in fielding; in short, the teams would now have versatility.
This should be the ideal scenario for every team. Completing specialties in the project is necessary, but versatility would help you in an unexpected situation. Team members with a wide variety of skills could switch between these skills as and when the situation demands.
10. Work is not always important.
We discussed the role of communication in team-building strategies and how communication improves the team’s performance because the team members are open to each other for suggestions and ideas. But should communication between team members be only work-related?
You spend 8 hours out of the 24 hours of a day in your office with your team. Imagine how boring the work environment would be if the only company you have is all business-related. Many research studies indicate that how team members communicate and bond in informal meetings contributes majorly to the team’s success.
A Golf outing or lunch and dinner plans can help build friendship and eventually a healthy team spirit among the members, which can be a major factor in the team’s better performance at the workplace.
Your team is your strength in the workplace. The better your team better is your overall performance and success ratio. It’s not always about having the better-qualified individuals in your team to boost your team’s performance, but the individuals you work better with that help form the best team. There is no guide to where you will find such individuals, but a few trials and errors will eventually help you in team-building strategies that would be great support inside your workplace and outside of it as well.
Someone has rightly said-
“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
This has been a guide to building a team to get a better-desired result. Innovative ideas and goals were important factors in team-building techniques. These are the following external link related to team-building processes.