A few years ago, I attended a briefing on how to make teams more effective. One major piece of learning stuck out for me and that was how so few Leaders spend time on how their teams work together but merely focus on working on achieving goals. Surely, if you don’t have the foundation piece in place for your teams, then anything they work on and towards will be much more difficult.
Below are 5 ways to help you as a Leader to make your teams more effective.
1. Know the personality of each team member. This can easily be done by having each team member complete a psychometric profiling tool such as Insights Discovery or Myers Briggs Type indicator (MBTi). They’ll learn about their communication style, how they problem solve, their blind spots and strengths & weaknesses if using Insights Discovery. They’ll also learn more about their team mates if you run a Team Effectiveness Workshop.
2. Know their characteristics and attitudes. Simple things such as what irritates some team members or what brings joy to others can help you get a clearer picture of what makes each team member tick.
3. Know their aspirations / ambitions. This is really important even if their aspirations lie outside of working with you or in fact outside of the organisation. You may be able to help them on their way to achieving these but it also will help you understand them and their motivators more.
4. Know about their personal lives. This does not mean that you poke your nose into their private lives and become intrusive. It’s more about you knowing about the challenges they may have outside of work such as taking care of young children or elderly parents. Also, you should find out about their hobbies and interests as you can then relate easier to them and vice versa.
5. Spend time working on how you work as a team. As a follow on from knowing the personalities of each team member, spend time working on how you work together as a team. Create the space to discuss areas like:
- How you manage conflict
- How you interact with each other
- How you can be less judgemental
- How you can really have each others’ backs
A good guideline would be to work on 1 area, once a month for about 45 mins to an hour at a time. Perhaps workshop these sessions to get the best from them. Use questions like: What are we doing now that is working? What do we need to start doing to be more effective in this area? And what do we need to stop doing that is not working for us in this area?
The more you work on working together effectively, then the more effective you will become as a team.
Until next month.