In Part 1 of this article, we started talking about the 6 truths of creating and building a strong, supportive business team, and detailed the first 3 truths.
In this post I’m going to share with you the final 3 truths so you can get started creating and developing your own team using these strategies.
Truth Four: Spending Off-Line Time Together
Strong, supportive teams make a conscious effort to spend off-line time together. They know that this type of time helps build relationships and helps to create a feeling of team identity.
Off-line time together can involve eating meals together, participating in community events, celebrating special events, holidays, or just plain “hanging out.”
To spend off-line time together try the following:
- Make team members aware of the importance to spending off-line time together and encourage them to do it
- Make the effort to purposefully have certain meals together or to take workplace breaks together
- Plan monthly team outings and make it easy for all to attend
Truth Five: Shared Values
One characteristic of strong, supportive teams is a shared belief in a set of values that guides ethical behavior.
These shared beliefs in values help to create a bond between the team members as a way of working, interacting, and behaving together. Shared values serve to connect team members at a core level and this serves to validate and strengthen the team.
To find shared values try the following:
Have each team member share their answers to these questions as a way to determined the teams shared values:
- Why are you a part of this team? You could be on another team, why do you want to be on this one?
- What are the distinctive competencies this team brings to the organization?
- What would the organization lose or forgo it this team did not exist?
- What would you like to tell your children or grandchildren that you accomplished by being a member of this team?
Lastly, take a look at your own values and your view of your team. Keep a journal of your thoughts and share them with your team.
Truth Six: Cope with the Unexpected
All teams experience challenge of some type at a time of crisis.
Strong, supportive teams have the ability to pull together and draw on each other’s strengths when they are faced with the stress of a crisis. They are able to pool their resources, work together, get help from outside support systems, keep communications open in the face of strong emotions and most importantly draw on their shared beliefs from their team values.
When a team is strong and supportive, it is able to maintain the flexibility necessary to ride the waves of crisis and team members expect a positive resolution in the end.
To cope with the unexpected do the following:
- Include in team discussions hypothetical questions involving crisis, like a sudden reduction of resources or the abrupt departure of a team member.
- Dialog about how the team would handle these circumstances. What would be the likely alternatives and contingency plans that could be put into action?
Five Steps to Begin the Building of a Strong, Supportive Team
In closing, whether your team is just forming or has been established for some time, here are five effective steps to ensure you are building a strong, support team from the get-go:
- Step One: Identify the strengths your team members have. Each member of your team brings certain strengths. Let each of them share with the team what they are without condemnation.
- Step Two: Visualize what you would like your team to become. Let each team member make up a wish list of things they would like to see in the team. Discuss these points in an accepting way.
- Step Three: Identify specific goals. Allow each team member to generate a list of specific goals the team needs to deliver to the organization. Then agree on the top 3-5 goals and put a date beside each goal.
- Step Four: Put members in charge of each of the goals. Define what team members will be responsible for ensuring the achievement of each of the top 3-5 goals by the agreed upon date.
- Step Five: Understand that this is only the beginning. Building a strong, supportive business team takes time. It is a process, not a one-time event. Take it step by step.