Play a Team Game (part 1)

IF individuals make up a team it surely follows that a team should be a collection of individuals. It stands to reason. Doesn’t it? Actually, no it doesn’t. Today more than ever, the experience, knowledge and skills of an entire workforce are key to business success.

The saying ‘we’re in this together’ could not be more appropriate. As leaders we need to recognize that everybody has strengths and it is how they can best be utilized which helps mould a group of people into an effective unit.

An efficient team can add so much value to the business because, together, it can contribute more than the individual components that make the whole.

Having complementary attributes and experience, within varying roles, can achieve agreed aims, as long as that team are given the right platform by those at the helm.

Setting up a group from scratch is one thing. In today’s world of job cuts and streamlined working environments it’s more likely you are handed a team. In that eventuality you have to get the best out of the resources at your disposal. Delegation is important. Defining roles and objectives is essential and there is the need to make sure there are no overlapping tasks so as to avoid duplication.

Accountability is another issue to be addressed. People need to know what they are responsible for and others need to understand the team’s dynamics too. Who can be creative, enthusiastic, strategic, disciplined, practical? Every member of the team can make a collective difference if they can gel with each other.

Establish clear objectives, job titles, accountability and be open with each other. Communication is vital to attaining shared goals. Pool your thoughts, respect other team members, bounce ideas off each other and support your colleagues for the common aim.

And as a boss, make sure you.

1. Express what you want people to contribute within the team?

2. Work out each person’s skill-set. And decide whether you need to overlook someone who may be highly gifted in one aspect, for another who offers less technical expertise perhaps, but is a more rounded option for the benefit of the team.

3. Ensure the objectives of your group are relevant, easy to measure, realistic and achievable within a certain timescale.

Also, lead by example, put into practice the standards you are trying to instill in others. Get people to do things because they want to. That is one of the gifts of true leadership.

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