“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 never fails to inspire you because somewhere down 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 lending a helping hand in each of your successes. So, even if we do 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, might not have the same agendas, but your team will always share your goals. They might have different personalities, different approaches to reach 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 having similar interests, attitude and taste 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 individual members. Here are a few things you must know when you want to build your own team-
Personalities of Team Members
A team cannot be formed by just bringing together a random bunch of people. Ensuring that a team succeeds in its endeavors relies a lot on how well the team members gel with each other. If in such a scenario a group of people with clashing personality’s former team, catastrophe is inevitable.
The basic requirement of team building techniques is to get a better-desired result and get it fast but when individuals with varying personalities that are incompatible 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 together with the notion that qualification is much more important than personality. But the truth is, qualification and personality only go together well when both are focused and used to build connections with other members of the team.
Unity in Diversity
Coming up with new, innovative and creative ideas is one of the basic functionalities of a team. But in a team of people with a similar thought process, getting innovative and creative ideas becomes very difficult.
Although personalities of individuals should be similar to be compatible, similarity and like-mindedness in thought process will not help much when new ideas for a project is considered. Diversity in ethnicity, morals, and thinking is a must in order to gain great ideas and innovation out of a team.
- Also, it becomes important to maintain unity in these diverse groups and this can be done only by the leader by giving equal opportunities to every member of the team and not favoring a few. It is important that you come out of your comfort zone and build a team filled with creative and innovative individuals who have very different approaches instead of forming a team with individuals who think like you and reduce the overall output of the team.
Work vs Fun
Work has always been considered the opposite of fun. Like 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 the company you have, 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, that is an established fact, and in a team, the fun can really increase productivity by increasing interaction between the members.
Having fun with your team will not only increase communication, group productivity and help with emotions management but also reduce negativity, health issues and stress levels in a group.
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 took. Who will be the captain and who will be in whose team led to the worst fights ever? But what those fights taught us was that defining the proper team structure is very crucial.
How a team performs depends a lot on how the team was led by its captain. But the decision on who the leader will be is not only important but also, a bit dangerous. There can be ego clashes and fights. There might be a lot of ways to deal with this problem but the decision must be made by factors like team goals and culture.
Team hierarchy and structure is very important in team-building techniques whether it is in business or sports. It might take time but eventually, the decision must be for the best of the team.
Respecting the team members
Respect is very important in any relationship and in a team with individuals of different gender, personalities and other varieties, respect becomes the core of binding them together and improve the performance of the team as a whole.
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 should be taken not only to build this bond of respect but also, to maintain it.
A team cannot be formed without a goal. It is the basic rule in team-building techniques that a team is formed only when individuals with similar interests and goals come together. For an analogy, consider a group of boys on a playing field. Obviously, boys who want to play cricket will not form teams with boys who want to play football as they have completely different goals.
Another problem that may arise in such a situation is also if two teams of cricket 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 which must be avoided.
If the goal is not common, a team is just a group of people. Right from the beginning of team-building techniques, the goals of the team must be made clear and only the individuals with similar goals must be considered as possible team members.
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 a lot of problems and the absence of it is the main reason behind any performance issues of a team.
Trust and team integrity can only be built on the basis of the honesty of the communication. If team members share not only all the information related to the project they are working on but also, their feelings only then can total trust be established between them. The main reason for team building techniques is to finish a project not just quickly but effectively and this can be achieved only when there are 3 to 4 people working on the same project instead of a single individual. But sans communication, this team of 3-4 members can be as good as not touching the project at all.
Avoid formation of groups within a team
Team members might relate to a selected few based on their similar backgrounds and lifestyles. This can lead to the formation of smaller groups within a team or cliques. Cliques can be a major factor contributing to the lack of communication and poor performance of the team.
It is natural for team members of the same locality or having kids or other similar interests to bond over 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 that they are being treated equally, the negativity surrounding the situation will be somehow reduced.
Versatile team members
Let’s go back to our previous analogy of a group of boys who want to play cricket and another group of boys who want to play football. Consider a change in scenario and picture a ground not big enough to allow both the group of boys to play their desired sports. Now, what do they do?
Obviously, since this is just a casual 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 would bring their football skills in fielding, in short, the teams would now have versatility.
This should be the ideal scenario for every team. Yes, specialties in the project to be completed are necessary, but versatility would help you in an unexpected situation. Team members with a wide variety of skills would be able to switch between these skills, as and when the situation demands.
Work is not always important
We discussed the role of communication in team-building strategies. 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 do have is all business-related? Many types of research and studies indicate that the way 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 a lot to 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 that 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 not only be great support inside your workplace but 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 is 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 techniques.