Developing and leading a team is a complex task but it’s well worth the effort in getting it right.

A common sense of purpose and the right mix of skills go a long way in producing great results. So let’s break it down and see how we can help understand the dynamics of teams, including remote ones, and solve the mystery of effective teamwork.

The process.
If you want your team to be happy and productive, you’ll need to work on these 3 areas:

1. Set a clear understanding of the team's task:

  • Identify team aims and vision
  • Identify required resources
  • Establish responsibilities
  • Set standards
  • Monitor performance against a plan

2. Build a strong teamworking environment:

  • Agree standard of performance and behaviour
  • Establish team's style of working and culture
  • Monitor and maintain discipline and ethics
  • Anticipate and resolve team conflicts quickly
  • Develop a strong morale and team spirit

3. Support individual team members:

  • Assist and support individuals
  • Agree individual objectives and tasks
  • Acknowledge effort and good quality work
  • Develop team members and help them grow
  • Utilise each individual's strength 

The people.

A strong team needs a range of people who can offer different qualities, abilities, and interpersonal skills. This creates a good, balanced group who can operate effectively together.

You’ll find more info on team members types here

Be supportive.

Once your team is assembled and goals are defined, support them by:

  • Creating an environment of openness, trust, respect, loyalty and co-operation, providing a ‘blame free’ culture
  • Gaining commitment and motivating team members.
  • Ensuring that all members feel their contribution is valued
  • Giving regular, clear and accurate feedback on individual performance.
  • Welcoming ideas, input and suggestions to explore different courses of action.
  • Being aware of participants’ loyalties to people or organisations outside the team and being a fair and impartial mediator
  • Keeping focused on the end goals and the importance of co-operation in achieving them.

Look out for…

Watch out for team members who don’t pay attention to results, avoid accountability, lack commitment, fear conflict and don’t trust others. You’ll need to talk to them about your concerns and see if they can be resolved. You may have to replace them to maintain the harmony in the rest of the team.

Working with remote teams can be more challenging, with leaders needing to be more in touch with, and more supportive of the team dynamics. Watch our Building Virtual Teams webinar for more tips on how to manage remotely. 

Let’s recap.

A great team combines the right process, with the right people, in the right environment. As a leader your role is to support the team and guide the process, so the players can shine. If you stick to these guidelines and play by these rules, you’re on your journey to effective team working.

Note: we have referenced other people’s work in this post. Please find the details  here.

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