No man is an island. This simple sentence is very true for leaders seeking to grow business. You may think you can do it all but the fact of the matter is, if you want to grow your business to it’s fullest potential, you’ll need help. Leadership lessons that inspire teamwork must get on the agenda.
Sometimes that can be difficult. Entrusting others to execute your vision can be overwhelming. At first. With these simple steps, you can begin to transform your company into the cohesive team you need it to be.
Dian Griesel, Ph.D., an oft-recruited communications and crisis management expert offers these tips for establishing a more cohesive, happy and high performance team.
- Establish Goals. The first thing you need when you plan any trip is the destination. Where are you going? This step may take time to develop, but everyone should be included. The goal can’t be “to make lots of money” yet it can be as simple as “become the best in my field”.
- Make a Roadmap. Outline how you are going to establish your goals. By including your entire team in this process, you will gain valuable insight to different ideas and perspectives. Decide how you are going to get there together. Assign tasks to each team member. Do so in a way that best utilizes each person’s talents. Talk to everyone and see how they feel they could best contribute.
- Accountability. Each team member needs to pull their share of the workload. Nothing breaks down a team faster than when one, or a few, do the lion’s share of the work. If someone isn’t pulling their weight or following through with their responsibilities, it needs to be addressed immediately. Remember that a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. Everyone on the team needs to be 100% on board. When necessary, corporate restructuring can be a useful tool to bring balance and structure to your mission.
- Praise Often. Reward employees generously. This doesn’t necessarily mean monetarily. Praising a person for a job well done can make all the difference in a person’s attitude. Something as simple as “I noticed.” People need to be recognized for their efforts. They need to feel like a valuable part of the team.
- Foster Harmony. Teams are like families. In every family there will be some amount of conflict. Your job as the team leader is to minimize the strife by quickly and fairly solving the problem. Listen to all sides and respect each position. Your job is to get everyone back on track.
- Encourage dialogue. Every team member’s voice is important. To be successful, everyone needs to feel comfortable to give voice to ideas, opinions, observations and even complaints. Listening now can prevent many problems later. If possible, try to meet with employees one-on-one on a monthly basis. Give them a safe place to express their ideas (or problems). Weekly staff meetings are also an effective way to encourage dialogue.
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