ABCs of team building
September, 2010Then she challenged me to come up with the ABCs of team-building, a topic that seems particularly popular in this era of reorganizations, layoffs and downsizing. The following concepts are what I consider the fundamentals of team-building:
A is for action. No team can function without a plan of action, even when the final outcome is to take no action at all.
B is for brainpower. If two heads are better than one, I would submit that a cohesive, well-assembled team should have enough brainpower to attack any project.
C is for cooperation and communication. Team members need to cooperate, even if they don't necessarily agree. Clear communication is the roadmap to cooperation.
D is for dedication. As members of a team, you must be dedicated to the goals of the team, or you are on the wrong team.
E is for ears. Use your ears more than your mouth because listening skills are critical for team success.
F is for fun. Work should be fun, and working together is usually a lot more fun than working alone.
G is for the group effort. The motto needs to be "all for one and one for all" in order to be a real team.
H is for help. Ask for it if you need it, and offer it if someone else needs yours.
I is for the ideas that come from brainstorming and picking each others' brains. Let the ideas flow and then choose those which hold the most potential.
J is for juggling. Combining all the company's needs and desired results will often require a juggling act, but a competent team will be able to achieve that balance.
K is for kinetic -- energetic, dynamic team members keep things moving.
L is for leadership. Every team needs a leader, and every leader needs to be able to depend on the team.
M is for motivation. Nothing motivates a team like trust placed in them by management to solve a problem.
N is for negotiate. Give and take is as important within a team as it is with outside clients.
O is for open mind. Team members need to be open to options they may not have considered, and willing to expand their perspectives to find the best answers.
P is for planning. A plan doesn't need to be rigid to be effective, but it must provide enough direction to keep the team on course.
Q is for questions. Asking questions is the best path to finding solutions. Don't be afraid of asking any question. If you don't understand something, chances are others don't either.
R is for results. The whole point of forming a team is to achieve results. The only variation on that theme is that the results may not be what had been originally anticipated.
S is for solutions, which differ from results in that there may be more than one solution to any given problem. Then the team can implement the best choice.
T is for time management. A well-managed team uses their meeting and planning time efficiently, and understands when it is time to finish the project.
U is for unity. Once a decision is made, the team needs to be unified to implement the plans. If the team can't act as a unit, then it may be necessary to reconfigure the team.
V is for voice. Every team member has to have a voice in the proceedings, and it is up to the team leader to insure that all voices are heard.
W is for work ethic. Each member needs to complete the given assignments and should have confidence that others will demonstrate the same commitment.
X is the X factor -- the chemistry that makes a team productive because all members are committed to the same goal.
Y is for yes -- say it as often as you can. "Yes, I can help. Yes, that's a good idea. Yes, let's move ahead. Yes, we did it!"
Z is for zeal. Passion, eagerness and enthusiasm are contagious; share your zeal with the rest of your team.
Mackay's Moral: The team you build will determine the business you build.
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