Building a Strong Team

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‘Team building’, for many of us this brings to mind awkward work days out clambering over obstacle courses, a ‘fun’ workshop in the office or perhaps the latest craze of escape rooms. Whilst these events can be very successful, they are not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people relish the opportunity to take charge and be competitive, but others prefer to take the backseat and avoid any likelihood of being in the spotlight. One thing for sure is that team-building exercises highlight the dynamics of a team, the variety of personalities and the varying levels of confidence as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

Building a good team in the workplace is not always easy, it is more than just filling the roles and having the right number of bodies. Teams generally comprise of a group of people with different ideas, knowledge, skills, opinions, backgrounds and priorities. Getting them to work cohesively towards a successful outcome will require some work and understanding.

One-way leaders and managers can develop good partnerships is to lead by example and have a strong set off fundamental values to work by. When put into practice these principals should inspire and help build teams that are interdependent and productive.

A team is like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece is slightly different but when they slot together the end result is worth it –

Respect other peoples’ views and keep an open mind about ways of working that are different to yours. Every team needs a leader, an adventurer, an expert, a researcher, a creator and it will even need a quiet observer who is frequently the voice of reason.

Communication is key to working together, have open discussions and listen to others’ ideas and views. Communication is requisite to everyone knowing where things stand with a project and to help them to sing off that one same hymn sheet. Some people are naturally more outgoing, they will confidently take on a more dominant role in the group but it is important to have an inclusive culture.

Empower the quieter or less experienced in the group by giving them a chance to contribute an idea and have some creative freedom, no idea is a bad idea, it is a means to an end. Make sure everyone is included socially whether it is to the pub after work on a Friday or a round of coffees. Be patient, it is a virtue! People will not always click together, projects can take a while to get on track and see results and there will always be peaks and troughs in performance.

Support and encourage each member of the team, celebrate successes, big and small, the praise will go a long way. Last but not least, never underestimate the need for fun and a little light heartedness, (within reason of course!). Team building does not always come from a big planned event, a simple gesture like bringing in ice-creams, some cakes or a bowl of fruit to a team can add some relief to a long day

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