It isn’t easy to build a good team. I personally interview people to get a sense of their personal values and whether or not they would fit my team before I move forward with any project. Technical skills are great, but what really drives long-term results is a great team that consists of people who know how to communicate with each other, accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses and understand the vision of an organisation.
Want to strengthen and improve collaboration in your team? Here are some of the best strategies I have learned after over a decade of leading great teams.
1. Lead by Example
Good leadership starts with good self-leadership. If you want the members of your team to communicate effectively, work efficiently and produce the best possible results, you must also exemplify the qualities you seek.
I learned a lot of things from watching and copying how my mentors act and speak. For younger leaders, there really is nothing as inspiring as seeing the leaders you aspire to be as people who are not only knowledgeable and confident but also compassionate and agreeable. Ignite your team’s desire for self-development by being a good role model, not just in the office but also outside of work.
2. Create opportunities for feedback.
Find ways to get honest and authentic feedback from your team. One way to do this is by organising open discussion sessions with a no-holds-barred policy where anything can be said without the worry of hurt or repercussion.
You can also create a way for your team members to give feedback anonymously. Remember: there is ALWAYS something to improve, no matter how perfect you think your plan is. Put a suggestion box in a discreet part of the office and remind your team members that feedback is important for overall team development and that it is safe for them to express it.
2. Communicate roles and goals with clarity.
Precisely define the kind of results are expected of each team member and go over the overall vision of the team. Communicating roles and goals early on will allow each member to know their responsibility and scope of work.
Some leaders sometimes skip this as they think this should already be obvious, only to find out later on that someone has missed looking over something and great damage has been done. While it is important to trust your team members, it is also important to keep everyone accountable and prevent possible misunderstandings, miscommunication and resentment if something doesn’t go according to plan. Save yourself from later confusion by ensuring clear communication early into a project.
3. Praise progress and reward results.
Look out for good behaviour and get your team excited about their progress and milestones at work. When you decide to praise someone for their effort, be specific and do it immediately in public if you can.
You can also praise them through other creative ways like posting a thank-you note at their desk, buying them a book of their choice or paying the annual subscription to their favourite e-magazine. Another creative idea is to have a treasure chest of goodies such as motivational books, useful office tools, fitness equipment and tech accessories.
5. Seek to collaborate
A big part of leadership relies on building strong relationships and collaborations. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to create synergies within your ecosystem. Think of how you can be a ‘value-builder’ among friends and family. Help them in your own unique way, either through the skills or knowledge that you have or through your network of contacts.
The world is smaller than you think. Strive to help others and you’ll be surprised at the wonders this may bring to your life. Of course, you shouldn’t be helping others with the intention of benefiting from them in return. Having this kind of expectation and rather devious plan almost often leads to bad blood. Instead, genuinely help others because this act of generosity is something the world needs more of right now.
As a leader, it is your task to bring your team to greater heights. It is no easy task and oftentimes, it will take months to improve collaboration and therefore, efficiency in your team. Nonetheless, be patient and know that the efforts you make into creating an amazing team are going to be more than worth it.