T.E.A.M.W.O.R.K – Part I
As a leader in your company, bringing your people together into a strong team is part of your role. While every type of organization has a different objective and structure, there are some things that all great squads share in common.
A Unifying Purpose
In all likelihood, your team will consist of people very different from yourself and each other – not only in ethnicity, background, gender, or age, but also in diverse personalities, skills, and working styles. The first thing that brings a team together is a unifying purpose. It may be the only thing that everyone agrees on, but it’s what brings you all together. Part of your job as their leader is to remind your team of their purpose!
Unique People with Different Backgrounds
However, a common purpose notwithstanding, one of the most significant benefits of a diverse team, is its diversity. We all have different experiences in life – our experiences shape and guide our outlook. A team with a variety of people unified in a common goal will offer more thoughtful decisions as they work towards that objective. For example, let’s say your sales team contains a Gen X employee who happens to be caring for his aging Baby Boomer parents. Working alongside him are several Millennials. The oldest Millennial has a Gen Z daughter who is graduating from college this Spring. Their different ages, experiences, and relationships enable them to build a comprehensive sales strategy that effectively reaches a broader audience
Diversity is a good thing, but it isn’t always easy. The glue that binds together diverse people with a common goal is communication. Reliable communication is vital. It is an essential factor for every team in every situation. Open, respectful discussion, where people can work through conflict and come to a resolution together, creates exceptional teams. While different personality types communicate and process information differently, a successful leader encourages people to learn and understand how to communicate with one another to keep the dialogue flowing. Employees should be encouraged to be honest and clear about what they are trying to express, while honoring the team differences.
A Strong Leader Example
Successful teams have leaders to set the pace, leaders who lead by example in:
- Staying focused on the target.
- Appreciating the things that make them different.
- Respecting one another.
- Being flexible to the needs of the whole team.
- Ensuring open intentional communication.
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