How to Build a Team that You’d Love to Work with?

One would say that a talented person is everything needed to reach a great goal, successfully complete a project, or create an awesome idea. Would you agree with that? Being an outstanding or skillful person surely is one of the necessary qualities for one to succeed. However, have you ever thought about how success has been achieved? Are you confident that a person can do it all solely?

In the majority of cases, a successful person is surrounded by an outstanding and dedicated team who perform different types of roles and effectively work towards the same goal. I believe that teamwork is one of the greatest things we have available on the way to any kind of success one may seek. A great team brings you two steps closer to reaching a goal faster and in a more creative and efficient manner. If the team is great, your work will be great too.

Based on my personal experience I wanted to share with you a couple of ideas that may help you when building a new team that you’d like to be a productive and reliable one or if you feel like the current team you are working in might require a bit of improvement.

1. Set clear goals.

A team without a common goal cannot be called a team. Team members should be 100% sure what their goals are, what they should be focused on, and strive for. No common goals mean no result and no productive teamwork.

2. Establish ground rules.

At the stage of storming it’s important to discuss and agree upon the set of ground rules, the team will follow in their work life. This will clear any doubts and will make the processes transparent. Besides, during this event of establishing the ground rules, every team member will introduce his or her ideas, can ask clarifying questions, and should feel more confident and less stressed afterward.

3. Discuss and agree upon team values.

An effective team should have its own values. Values are an important part of the team culture. The team will make use of them when there is a need to resolve a complicated problem or make a decision, the values will help with conflict resolution, will build a healthy environment, and will help people to mature, build their communications wisely, and take responsibility for their actions and team effort in general.

4. Set up regular 1:1 meetings or coffee breaks with every team member to have a chat, discuss concerns, personal growth plans, and goals.

From a managerial standpoint, it is very important to have dedicated meetings with every team member. Sometimes, one cannot express his feelings or concerns fully at team meetings, or due to time limitations, or other external factors. Having those 15 or 30 minutes scheduled with the leader might be enough to clarify an important issue, share concerns, build trustworthy relationships, discuss personal goals and development plans together.

5. Celebrate even small wins.

Team spirit is not that easy to grow and it may take even one negative event to shake it. However, in order for your team to be strong, try to celebrate even small wins. Sometimes words of appreciation are just enough to motivate a person and empower the team to move forward in quite challenging situations.

6. Regularly share and ask for feedback.

The culture of feedback sharing has already been proven in a lot of ways. Try to use this tool effectively. When giving and asking for feedback it’s important to stay objective, express your thoughts in a friendly manner, and most importantly with the aim of improvement and mutual growth. Set up a certain timeline and define milestones for feedback sharing and discussions. This will be a great tool for continuously improving and growing both personally and as a team together.

7. Be silly and have fun from time to time.

Give your team a chance to relax and take a deep breath in this hectic world in order to be able to recharge and move forward. Sometimes it is vital to take a break, have a silly retrospective, or just a team-building activity that may even not make sense :) Strangely enough, these events may bring even more value than the ones that force us to take everything seriously and may put a lot of pressure on one’s shoulders.

8. Allow failure and talk about what to do next if this happens.

Failure is inevitable. Even the most successful teams may fail at some point due to a bunch of reasons that might even not be directly caused by their work. That’s why it is much better to be ready for this beforehand. Every team member should know that failure exists and it is allowed to fail in your team. The last thing you want your team to do if something bad happens is to be stressed out and trapped by fear of uncertainty, not knowing how to react to these new circumstances.

Talk to your team about the possibility of failure. Discuss that if this happens, it’s not the end of the world. Instead, try to come up with a failure resolution plan. Everyone should understand that if a failure happens, the team should accept the situation and the next step to do is to evaluate possible solutions to come up with the ideas of how to fix things and bring them back to normal. This is one of the most outstanding features that distinguish successful teams from unsuccessful ones. Some teams have enough strength and skill to act upon failure, while others are simply blocked by it.

9. Promote the feeling of safety and openness.

Working in a safe and transparent environment is much more cheerful and enthusiastic. Feeling safe and supported in your working space fulfills the basic needs and opens any kind of possibilities and creative energy that is so much needed for great teamwork.

This list can surely be prolonged with so many other great ideas. Being an effective team means listening to each other, being flexible and open to new practices and ideas, pivoting whenever there is a need to, and persevering when your gut feeling tells you that. This is an ongoing growing process that requires a lot of time, dedication, and maturity.

Are there any other points you might have thought of? What kind of ideas have brought your team great results when introduced and practiced as a daily routine?

Senior IT Project Manager and Scrum Master. PMP®/ PMI-ACP. Love people. Love being creative. Enjoy innovating!

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Oksana Oboishchyk

Oksana Oboishchyk

Senior IT Project Manager and Scrum Master. PMP®/ PMI-ACP. Love people. Love being creative. Enjoy innovating!

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