Overcoming 3 Common Obstacles to Team BuildingJun 11, 2021
You may be a Solo-preneur (an entrepreneur who works alone) in your BNB Business but you still need a team to be profitable.
Your handyman, your cleaning crew, and your bookkeeper are all a part of your team, even if they aren’t technically employed in your business. Once we began employing Virtual Assistants in our business, time expanded and so did our business. We began building a team that worked well together. However, we hired slow and fired fast because we knew our small team had to be more effective to be profitable. An effective team fosters creativity and takes advantage of the diverse strengths and experiences of each of those persons as related to your business. Working as a group can produce results beyond what any individual member could do alone.
However, some teams thrive while others flounder. Creating a collaborative environment takes work, and many obstacles can undermine the process. We actually have our team members do a “fun” personality test (https://www.16personalities.com/) so we can find out where their strengths are and who may be a good fit to fill in their weakest attributes. We don’t want negative competition to run rife. This is why larger organizations benefit from investing more time in teaching team-building skills.
If everyone wants to be the general and no one the soldier, you will hit a snag. The same is true if everyone wants to be a rock star. You could have a team where no one wants to share information because they feel more important as the “only one” who holds that information. Situations like these can take a heavy toll on job satisfaction and productivity, not to mention stifling the growth of your company. Learn how to spot and overcome 3 of the most common obstacles to team building.
Teams must understand their goals before they can commit to them. While workgroups may function independently in some ways, they still need leadership to provide adequate direction and support.
Use these strategies to ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page:
- Clarify your purpose. Each individual needs to be on board with the organizational mission and values. You can help keep these principles at the top of employee’s minds with meetings, retreats, and regular conversations.
- Set specific goals. Establishing common ground and concrete goals for your team helps to guide decisions and evaluate progress. Have a clear written statement of what you want to achieve and when. Your team needs to know what “done” looks like, as well as what your optimal “well done” looks like. Take personal goals into account too.
- Define roles. Reach a consensus about roles, responsibilities, and expectations but be leery of creating a hierarchy. You want people to work as a team with a common goal. You want the Team to succeed, not just an individual. Detailed job descriptions prevent conflict and confusion. They also help each member to see where they fit into the bigger picture. Who is doing what each day to move the team closer to the goal? Have daily 10-minute check-ins to see what each team member DID yesterday to move the team forward and what they are doing today.
Lack of Trust
Cohesive teams trust each other. They create an atmosphere where members feel safe to share information and take risks. Sharing information is critical. (Read SCRUM to find out more on this subject. It is my favorite book on this subject and I’m reading it again right now as I build a new team). Developing healthy relationships makes it easier to tackle any task. If one toxic person is in the group, you risk losing all your good employees if you don’t ditch the one saboteur.
Try these tips to build trust within the team:
- Establish ground rules. Codes of conduct let members know what’s considered acceptable. Employees are also more likely to follow rules that they played a part in negotiating.
- Spend time together. Workgroups may bring together employees who otherwise have little contact with each other. Plan some fun social activities to break the ice. Keep teams small enough to encourage personal connections.
- Reward teamwork. How do you get members excited about shared priorities rather than their own agendas? Provide incentives for collaboration and host group recognition events.
- Discourage cliques. Some teams might remind you of high school with an in-crowd that leaves one or some students out. Try giving assignments that require interacting with someone new and change the make-up of each team from time to time. Watch out for the “mean girl” or “bully boy” types. If there’s a “hero”, everyone else is “less than.”
Friendly and respectful communication makes employees feel like they belong. Team members feel more driven to achieve their common purpose.
Keep these effective communication techniques in mind:
- Exchange feedback. Help each other with honest and tactful observations about how to enhance individual and group performance. Resolve disagreements before they escalate into serious conflicts.
- Ask questions. Learn from each other. Listen attentively and ask for more information and clarification when you’re unsure. Many snafus can be avoided by gathering facts and consulting each other before taking action.
- Provide training. Communication skills can be strengthened with practice and instruction. Survey teams to find out what assistance they want and need. Offer courses online or engage outside experts to customize a program. Remember, you’re building a team. Everything you do should make people see that they are included.
- Use technology. Cloud computing, project collaboration software, and video calls have transformed the way teams interact. Now, you can stay in touch and coordinate activities, even when some employees are in the office and others work remotely. Use Basecamp or a simple Trello board to let others know where you are. Leaders, watch the board and make sure everyone is moving forward.
- Stay positive. Attitudes are contagious. Team members can lift each other up or make maintaining morale more challenging. Focus on what you like about each other and be generous with thanks and praise.
You can make a difference in any team you create. Knowing how to deal with common obstacles will help you to create opportunities for engagement and advancement for yourself and your colleagues making your business a magnet for profit.
© The Prosperity Process, LLC
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