High functioning teams understand the importance of embracing strong skill sets. As humans we tend to forget this undeniable fact and focus on “fixing” our weaknesses. That’s a fruitless task. Everyone has weaknesses and so do teams. The key is to identify, leverage and nurture individual strengths for each member of the team and leverage them appropriately.
Identify Individual Strengths
In today’s team-oriented work environment, to stay ahead of the competition and truly innovate, collaboration is a make-or-break success requirement. Two heads are better than one after all. However, to tackle highly complex work, there must be substantial interdependence. This is why it all starts with proper role assignment by managers/team leaders.
Managers must be able to identify how each individual can contribute to the good of the team.
To build and nurture successful teams, the leaders must:
- Understand each member’s strengths
- Assign them tasks where they can be successful
- Clearly define each team member’s role/objectives
Focusing on team members strengths is key when building effective teams. If each member is not working at their optimal level there is no way the team can perform as a whole. In fact, when employees become aware of their strengths, they become 7.8 percent more productive. When teams focus on strengths they are 12.5 percent more productive. A win win scenario.
Be careful to acknowledge and praise an employee’s strength, but be careful not to overshadow the other members of the team. In other words, keep team members egos in check, do not allow someone to become “the star”.
Overall, the division of labor is about role clarity and how each member’s contributions align with the goals set by the team to ensure success for the team.
Nurture Team Strengths
Now that each member of the team is assigned to roles/tasks leveraging their best skill sets, it is important to make sure everyone works well together. This is accomplished by building personal connections between team members. When the members of the team get to know one another better, trust is established.
Strengthen bonds between team members by:
- In-person meetings (i.e. face-to-face or virtual)
- Open communication (i.g. everyone’s opinion is welcome)
- Fact-based arguments for conflict resolution (i.g. keep emotions in check)
- Socialization (i.e. lunches, get together’s after work)
It is also important to note when dealing with a multigenerational workforce, to be sensitive to the mindsets and preferred work methods of each generation. For example, a worker in their fifties will not be satisfied with text messages alone to communicate like a millennial worker. Respect where the team member is “coming from” so their strengths can be appreciated and leveraged for the good of the team.
As a result, when individuals perform to their optimal strength(s), with clearly defined roles, trust their co-workers to work to their strengths, the team thrives. When the team thrives, goals are accomplished and great things will happen!
Engage in True Team Building with Larry Lipman!
Larry is a Team Building Specialist who success coaches participants into powerful, cohesive TEAMS. He can help engage your team to reach real results and achieve participant buy-in for new ideas and solutions. Call Larry today at 770-333-3303 and find out for yourself how powerful team building can be for your organization!