Unlike my mom who often keeps her recipe ingredients secret, I’m willing to share my 5 ingredients for building a team. These are certainly not the only 5, but they form a good basis for building a team in a natural way that should resonate easily with your group.
Building a team with goals and objectives
It may seem obvious that it’s easier to achieve your objectives when you know what your goals and objectives are. But you’d be surprised how many workforce teams function based on history and old patterns that may no longer be relevant. The first step is to take time to establish your goals through group activity or a team building event.
Communication is key in team building
The second of my 5 ingredients for building a team is good communication. This is vital to the success of every high performance team. Quite often you may be stuck in communication patterns that aren’t optimal. They may be keeping you from moving your team forward. There are great tips in this article to help you identify what isn’t working and try some new strategies. One of my favorites is to get leaders to recognize that being willing to give up some control is the quality of a great leader.
Working together is essential…duh! But how do you work together better? What does real collaboration look like and how does it function? Collaboration is not just about assigning tasks and handing off different stages of a project. Great collaboration implies real dialog, brainstorming, sharing questions, giving and taking guidance.
When our Kidbilly Music team led a program for Microsoft, we enjoyed the energy in the room as the participants experienced open collaboration in a fun, musical setting. Our observations were confirmed when I got the following comment from the event organizer, “The Microsoft team had a great time with the experience of songwriting and learning about how harmoniously they could work together. It was amazing to watch the groups create similar themed songs in such different unique ways and with differing song styles.”
The fact that this group found the process amazing means that the experience of open collaboration felt new to them. It should evolve to the point where it’s a given – a part of team function. Can you imagine the power of ‘amazing’ on a weekly basis!
This is probably the most important of the 5 ingredients for building a team. Without commitment you will fail! I always answer honestly when potential clients ask us about the underlying value of our program. I tell them that a one time team building event will not change your group dynamic long term. A great one time program can be a powerful catalyst to change; a great launch. But to achieve change, you have to do things differently on an ongoing basis. So follow through with your expressed commitment by putting policies in place to support your change initiative.
Team building should be fun!
I write a lot about the importance of fun. Facilitating my music team building program has taught me that when people have fun they’re engaged, they’re absorbed and they become vested in the outcome of what they’re doing. To have a great team, you do need to be able to have fun together. Every team member’s feeling of engagement in the team’s outcome is vital to thrive.
5 Ingredients For Building A Team
- Establish goals and objectives
- Build effective communication
- Honor and encourage honest collaboration
- Stay the course – commitment
- Fun – don’t leave home without it!