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Seven Ways you can build a team to last

Pyramids require building on strong foundationsWhen you are putting together a new team your main aim will be to build one to last. Decisions you make now can have a huge impact on everything which happens further down the line.

For a team to reach its potential the most important thing it needs is good leadership. Successful teams are built around good leaders and a poorly led team will be a poorer team. A good leader needs to set the standard to work to and be constantly driving to improve all of the time.  It doesn’t matter whether you are an office based team, a football team or a construction team the needs are broadly the same.

A good leader will understand their subordinates and what motivates them, they need to know their strengths and how to utilise them and how to mitigate their witnesses.  Building a successful team requires managing the teams egos and personalities in away it encourages them to be a benefit to you.

When you are putting together a new team there are seven things you need to bear in mind.

1.     Be aware of yourself and how you work

If you are leading people you need to be acutely aware of how you work and how you want this to fit in with the skills of your new team. This can be very important when recruiting to make sure you have the right mix of people. You have to question are your usual style and leadership techniques good enough and what areas do you need to put extra effort in to.

You should be critical of yourself and see which areas can be developed to the betterment of the team you are leading. While you might be in charge you still have a duty to lead your team and not just boss them about. A good leader demonstrates a certain set of skills and style. How you prefer to work might not be the most efficient way to lead your team and get the most out of others. This step is even more vital for someone who is a first time leader creating their first team.  If you critically examine your leadership style you will be much better placed to be well respected by your team.

2.    Get to know your team members and what makes them tick

If you don’t properly understand your team you won’t be able manage them to a good level. Just as you need to be able to hold yourself to account you also need to be able to expect your team members to perform at their best. A good leader is empathic towards their team and should intuitively know when something is wrong. They need to be able to trust their team members at time and offer support at others.

A good leader understands each person’s strengths and weaknesses and how to utilise those strengths and how to help mitigate those weaknesses through training and development.

A good leader will have invested time into understanding and getting to know their team as individuals and as a group. This will allow them to know which buttons to press and the right time to push them. This will also allow them to match team members with the right tasks to get the most productivity out of their team. If your team is a jigsaw, you need to make sure they are put together correctly.

3.    Be very clear about your teams roles and responsibilities

Once you have fully got to know your team and understand their strengths and weaknesses you are better prepared to designate roles and responsibilities to each member. When you are defining each person’s role you need to make sure you are very clear. Often a person’s ideal role may be outside of their job description or incorporate elements from two different roles. It is very important you are clear how you expect your team to work and the objectives you need them to complete or you risk some blurring of the roles and confusion between your team members.

If some tasks are more suited to a different team member it is your job to make sure the workload is distributed fairly but the right person is doing the right tasks which will most benefit the team.

The overriding goal is to make sure the team performs at its peak efficiency and team objectives are met rather than one or two individuals are performing well and others struggling. A team whose members understand their own roles will feel far more secure in themselves and free to get on with their work.

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