The ability of some business leaders to shape a strong, harmonious and sustainable team is both an art and a science, and always impressive. The leader who has habits in place for creating a cohesive team really is worth their weight in gold. If you have the know-how to develop a high performing team, you can build the strong foundations required to truly foster your business. Which explains why this habit is so important for successful leaders.
The Team-Building Habit
Leaders with the team-building habit have a keen understanding of how a person thinks, their strengths, what motivates them to work positively with others and how to best utilise their skills. Leaders are only as successful as their teams; and great leaders know how to make the most of diverse personalities to create positive team dynamics.
Most of us have observed or even been a member of a team where so-called colleagues behave self-centredly, approach their work half-heartedly and avoid cooperation like the plague. Such teams feel no identity; they often suffer from groupthink, poor decision making and ineffective conflict resolution. It’s simply not possible to develop a flourishing business if you’re surrounded by tired and uninspired people. This is why it’s worth paying close attention to your ability to build your team.
1. Know Yourself & Know your Team
First, you need to be aware of your own leadership style and techniques. Are they as effective as you think? Are they accepted by the team you’re attempting to lead? Evaluate yourself (or ask a mentor) and work out where you can improve. Getting to know your team as a whole, in relevant groups and as individuals, is also important. This will help you identify the current strengths within your team and areas where you need to build skills.
Establishing clear roles and responsibilities for each team member is essential. Responsibilities must be interconnected so that all team members are working towards a shared vision. Clear roles and responsibilities give team members focus so that they can be more productive and less likely to duplicate someone else’s work.
3. Feedback & Celebration
Regular, sincere and authentic feedback, acknowledgement and recognition go a long way towards building the loyalty and trust your business depends on. Proactive feedback helps your team stay on track, so don’t wait for a problem before you speak up. Feedback can be informal as well as formal – you can easily make it a natural part of your daily dialogue with team members. People love to be acknowledged for their contributions, and acknowledgement is also a valuable tool for highlighting and reinforcing skills and behaviours you want to see. Finally, you must also take the time to celebrate success. Celebration is more than acknowledgement. It’s about deliberately pausing, taking a step back and reflecting as a team on what has been accomplished and learned.
The next step in creating the team-building habit …
… is to understand where you are at present. Are you a natural ‘people person’, talent-spotter or motivator, or are these skills that you need to develop? Work with a mentor to create a realistic plan for developing this leadership habit. It really is fundamental.
For more information about leadership in business, and to understand how your ability to build your team can influence the financial position of your business including improved revenue, cash flow and profitability, please call me today.
This article is part of my current series: 7 Habits of Successful Business Leaders. In case you've missed any, so far I've covered: