There was a fantastic article in the New York times recently about Google’s efforts to build the best teams. It’s worth reading if you’re hoping to improve your corporate culture and continue striving to understand how to build the best teams. In my opinion the strongest take away from the article is no surprise. It’s that emotional interactions, dialogue, who we are and how we treat each other are vital.
- Have your leaders listen – My very first rule for how to build the best teams is to forgo top down leadership within your meeting. Great leaders know that one of their most important jobs is to listen. Why have a meeting if not to listen and get input from team members?
- Create a culture of dialogue – Yes, agendas are necessary and they can be great. But strict adherence to the clock and the agenda can kill the vibe in a meeting. When was the last time you got everything done on your to-do list for a given day? Treat meetings the way you’d treat yourself in that you allow conversation, brainstorming and stepping off agenda to honor people’s ideas and feelings.
- Meeting follow up – Know that most meetings are either beginnings or continuations of a project. And know that sometimes people need to follow up on personal interaction of a meeting. Perhaps you accidentally shut someone down or weren’t aware of someone’s desire to contribute to an idea thread. Create a culture that allows your team members to follow up with each other, even if it’s only about a feeling that transpired during the meeting.
How To Build The Best Teams with Outside Help
Of course I’m partial to having you bring in a team building facilitator when it’s appropriate. And no lie, I’m partial to my own program because team building through song speaks to building positive culture, empathy and trust. But in general, a well facilitated, genuinely fun, (engaging), team building program, whatever it is, can be a great way to start you off on your efforts to build the best teams.