One of the most important things to remember about your team is that it’s not just you. The more people you have on board, the more diverse perspectives, and skills can tackle any challenge. And bringing those different viewpoints together can be challenging. But it’s worth the effort: collaboration breeds creativity, innovation, and ultimately success. Here are some tips for making sure your team succeeds as well as possible.
1) Set clear goals and communicate them:
Everyone needs to be on the same page as to what you’re trying to accomplish together. Ensure every member of your team gets a clear idea of their role in achieving those goals, and make them as specific and measurable as possible. And then communicate frequently: keep everyone apprised of how things are going, but don’t forget that your understanding (not to mention your team) may change as you get more information. Changes in the plan make for an excellent opportunity to check in with everyone.
2) Have some rules:
Ensure everyone on the team understands and agrees to a few basic guidelines for how best to work together, both in meetings and with each other outside them. Everyone is enthusiastic about creating effective teamwork but can quickly lose track of what they were supposed to do or not let their personal feelings get in the way of getting things done. These rules will ensure that the team stays focused on their goals.
3) Create opportunities for each person to contribute:
Encourage everyone to feel like they have a voice heard and valued by the group – including you! Avoid paying attention only to the people who speak up most often; make sure everyone gets an equal chance to be heard. And when a given perspective is missing from the discussion, search it out and invite it in; in an effective team environment, everyone’s voice should matter.
4) Make sure people get along:
You’re on this adventure together. Your team will accomplish much more if everyone gets to know each other better on a personal level and a professional one. It may seem obvious, but when people get along well and trust each other as colleagues, they’ll be more likely to work effectively together on challenging issues.
5) Be ready to change your team structure:
Even the best-conceived teams don’t always stay that way over time. As you continue to work together, you may find that roles are not working out or someone is no longer a good fit for the group. Constant evaluation of your team’s effectiveness can help keep everyone on track and might let you identify any issues sooner rather than later. The team’s ultimate success will depend on how well you can work together, so be willing to do what it takes to make that happen.