Now that it is clear to you the kinds of people that you require for an effective team, how are you faring? Just looking at the subject of teams in isolation makes us feel like the team is all that we need for our Visions to be effectively fulfilled or actualized. I wish it was that easy. The truth is it is not. But remember that as long as you are determined, you will have to give all that is required to get moving until you reach your destination.
Today I want us to look at one issue that stems from putting a team together. And that is the issue of relationships! As long as you have a team, even if it is only of two people, a relationship is bound to evolve. Now what I am trying to pass across is the fact that a team is only as effective as the relationship that they have amongst themselves.
What is a relationship? It is a state of ‘connectedness’ between people who have mutual dealings within a family or a team. So for your team to effectively perform and deliver, you have the need to ensure that you model a great relationship module for them to follow. Let’s look at a few ways by which you can enhance relationships within your team.
1. ENSURE EACH MEMBER UNDERSTANDS THE VISION: A team is a group of people travelling in the same direction towards a common goal. How will they know what direction they are required to go except they are conversant with the vision? That is why the first rule of getting your team to deliver is to ensure they know and understand the Vision inside out! You can never share the Vision too many times! Write it out, let them know what it is that the team is seeking to achieve together.
2. COMMUNICATING: One of the greatest challenges within teams is communication! What I mean by communication is an ability to not just use words but use words that mean something to each member of the team. A lot of people, depending on their temperament, tend to say one thing but mean another! When I say the words ‘nothing’ to my husband for instance, he tends to stick around to ask more questions. This is because over the years he has learnt that in my mind, nothing means ‘you have to prod deeper’ or ‘something is wrong but I don’t want to say.’ One effective way to go about ensuring that what an individual is saying is what you are hearing is to repeat to them, in your own words, what you are hearing. When I ask a team member what they think of an idea and they say things like its okay, or nice, I want to go on and ask them, what they mean by okay or nice. I can go further and ask which part of it do you like? What this does is it forces the individual to give more thought to the issue before he or she responds to me.
3. ENCOURAGE AND EVALUATE FEEDBACK: Once the individual states what he is thinking or feeling, it is usually safer and wiser to take time out to evaluate his contributions before you agree or disagree. I used to tend to disagree immediately I hear something I feel is not what I will rather hear, and the way I disagree, I find, usually puts the individual on the defensive and depending on how they react, not come back to me with feedback next time. However, I am beginning to find that even if I will disagree with a team member’s feedback, it is usually better to take a few moments and think it through so I am able to pick my words carefully. This usually will enable me debate the issues rather than give in to emotions, and enable me ask intelligent questions that can move the group forward.
4. LISTEN: One more way to enhance relationships within a team is to model the ability to be a good listener. I find that when I am able to listen objectively and intently, I am able to catch what the team member may be saying but not as clear as he should and my ability to repeat his thoughts can usually clarify them. This helps me generate the right questions, which invariably leads to the right answers and of course effective dispensation of responsibility.
5. RECOGNIZE THAT EVERY ONE BRINGS SOMETHING TO THE TEAM: Finally, for this post, every one who has made it into the team has made it because they have something to contribute. If you will allow each person to work from their strengths and give each one the opportunity to express themselves how they know how to, they will be a lot more effective when they make their contributions.
The truth is that no man can work a vision on his own, what is the essence of putting together a team, if each one works on a different agenda? Relationships help team members find a way to connect with each other to move the dream forward.
Till next week, your dream will come to manifestation NeverTheLess.