Category Archives: Team Building

team effort

4 Tips for Leading a Successful Team Effort at Work

team effort

This is a guest post by Kristie on team work at office. You can read the guidelines to guest posting at our write for us page.

Working in teams can be a difficult process, especially when the team is made up of such different personalities, talents, and opinions. However, as a team leader, it is your responsibility to make sure that work gets done as a joint effort. If managed effectively, team work can be the most valuable asset of any company or enterprise. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Get to know all the members of your team on a personal basis.

It’s absolutely essential to get to know everyone on your team beyond what they do for you at work. Of course, you don’t need to know every personal detail of their lives, but learning each member’s interests and personalities will help you assess where their strengths and weaknesses lie so that you can assign work and roles within the team accordingly.

Identify and communicate the “higher purpose” everyone is working toward.

Any successful team must have discrete goals, but these goals must go beyond the mere means toward an end. You and the entire team must understand the ultimate end, and not just that—they must care about the ultimate end as well. If your entire team knows how their projects are going to affect the company, this will serve as immediate motivation for them to work together to achieve this higher purpose. People are motivated to work for a team when they know that the work they do together matters. If you don’t yet know what this higher purpose is, talk to your boss so that you understand how your work affects the company, and relay this information to your team.

Don’t set up any tasks that are strictly individual.

Many teams work by just having individual members do their own tasks, and then these tasks are all put together to complete the project. This is the least effective way of building a cohesive team. Instead, create tasks in which all members, in some way or another, must collaborate with one or more members. Have periodic meetings during which you talk about what you are working on, so the team understands how everything fits together.

Have fun together!

There’s a reason that many companies have team-building events, like going out to lunch, participating in sports leagues, or having happy hours. These activities build a camaraderie that is absolutely necessary for the team to work effectively. Even if the team cares about the higher purpose of their work, if they don’t care about each other, then they won’t work together.

About the Author:

This is a guest post by Kristie Lewis from construction management degree. You can reach her at: Kristie.Lewis81 @ gmail. Com.

delegate-work

How Good are you with Delegation?

Are your spending more than 12 hours in your office and still unable to complete your work?

Is your team feeling demotivated and unimportant?

If you are wondering, why I asked these two different questions that has no relation with each other, then think again!! These two questions are related to each other.

I have still not forgotten that day, when my boss walked into my room once late in the evening just as he was passing by the office and found me still in the office. He looked at me and asked me, “What are you doing in office so late”? I had a sarcastic look in my eyes and replied, “Boss, I am trying to complete my work”. My boss responded with an even more sarcastic look and said, “If you cannot complete your work in 8 hours of office time, you cannot do it in 16 hours”. I felt insulted and disappointed. After a few minutes when I tried to decipher what was the inherent meaning of this statement, I learnt the biggest lesson of my life.

If you cannot complete your work in 8 hours of office time, you will not be able to complete it in 16 hours.

In my further discussion with my manager he told me how to work effectively in order to complete things in time. A lot of these discussions were around effectively delegating work.

What is Effective Delegation?

Are you someone who delegates all of your work to your team members and prefer being an audience? Or, do you delegate very little or, no work?

Effective delegation involves carefully assessing each of team members’ skills and competencies. Your team members will have specific areas of interests. There would be certain other areas on which they need to work some more and some others in which they are masters.

The key to effective delegation involves the following -

  1. Delegating activities which are of utmost priority to team members who are masters in it.
  2. Delegating critical activities to people who have an interest in those areas.
  3. Delegating less critical activities that have some time to completion to people who are not experts in these areas and who require some grooming.

Though these could act as guidelines to deciding on how to delegate work, these might not be necessary rules to delegating. Effective delegation could involve a combination of all of these aspects. At times your decision could also be based on the composition of your team. Whatever the basis of decision, you need to bear in mind that your delegation should not in any way hamper the deliver-ability of the activities being assigned.

A few other aspects that you should need to keep in mind while deciding on how to delegate -

  • Keep in mind, not to put somebody in charge of someone which whom they have a negative relationship.
  • While delegating you should keep the “favoritism” aspect out of the decision making process. Delegate unbiased.
  • You would not want to loose control of the situation and become vulnerable. Do not delegate everything that is important and put the burden on the shoulders of somebody else. Keep somethings that are important with you and stay in control. Keep on eye on everything that is happening around you.

It is often found that a lot of bosses delegate everything and finally find themselves at the edge of the cliff with no way to go. Don’t loose control of the situation ever.

Delegation and Motivation -

Every employee wants to be identified and wants some extra responsibility so that he can show his worth. He starts to develop a monotony with the activities that he has been doing everyday. There starts to develop a lack of sense of belongingness. They begin to distance themselves from the team and the team leader.

The gradual shift of the team member from the team and the feeling of not being important is the core of demotivation and loss of production. Delegation can take care of this to a great extent.

Additional responsibilities will make them feel important. They will learn and acquire new skills thus making their work even more exciting and interesting. They will identify themselves with the team and the leader.

I still remember once of the employee in a team of mine who had a huge problem in outage. His leaves exceeded much more that then entire team taken together and he has a reason every time he went on an unapproved leave. He was given the responsibility of outage management for the team. He had to approve leaves for the team. Gradually over a period of time, I observed that he became very efficient and kept his outage within control because he had to answer every other team member if he disapproved their application. Also he had the responsibility to ensure that the team’s outage is within control.

Delegation can do a world of good for your team members in motivating them and upskilling them in their career aspirations.

Aggression – Its Importance in your career

Aggression

Is aggression good for your career?

Many a times I have seen people in the top management being a bit too much aggressive. I have also come across quite a few employees in the lower management levels also who have exhibited excessive aggression. How good is aggression and what level of management does it benefit?

It is good to be aggressive, especially if you are into sales and marketing. It is said that the most aggressive of salesman are the ones who are the most successful. Aggression helps a salesman in pitching for his product with full confidence. In a way he overwhelms the customer’s thought process and induces him to think the way he wants him to think, thus creating an urge for the product that he is selling. And because the customer does not have too much time to think, the salesman is able to sell his product.

Does the story end there?

It would have ended there if the customer (consumer or, market) in question was that of the 1950s. The markets have changed now to become a buyers’ market and so the story does not end there. Customers have options these days and every company knows that if they do not keep their customers happy, they will loose then to their competitors. In such a situation, aggressive selling only helps meet the goal for the moment. When the customer finally gets time to think, he will realize that it was a forced sale and he will return the product or, decide not to buy from the company anymore.

Let’s ask the question again. Is aggression good for sales? The answer would be – Controlled aggression is good for sales.

Aggression in Management -

I was attending a workshop being conducted by one the top management personnel in my organization, when suddenly a participant stood up and questioned a logic that the speaker gave. The question was valid and would have made any speaker think. The speaker in question here, got irritated, probably because the questioner was a lower level manager and was a new entrant into the organization. His response did not provide a rebuttal to the questioner, but he indirectly meant to tell the participant that he should not be questioning somebody in the top management. He, in a way wanted to make the participant realize that he was in command.

The workshop turned out to be a flop with not too much of attention from any of the participant and even a few quitting the workshop in between. Later we got to know that the feedback that the participants gave the speaker was very poor. It is worthy of mention here that the speaker was an extremely intelligent person, with immense experience in the field that he was in and was the subject of the workshop, had good knowledge about the subject, was an extremely good orator and a public speaker.

Aggression can be extremely harmful, irrespective of what position you are in, or what level of management you belong to.

“No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.

Control your aggression. Think of a situation in your organization where both parties take to aggression. There would be no solution. Logical thinking and a logical explanation is what can help you succeed.

People Managers, especially should bear in mind that you cannot lead your people by being aggressive with them. You need to understand them, their needs and their thoughts and evaluate things logically instead of taking to aggression. A composed discussion can provide you a resolution or, a solution rather than an aggressive discussion.

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Success as a Team

Team-workHow can you enhance performance within a team? Businesses in BPOs and Call-centers are more of team-work and less of individual efforts. So when it comes to the success of the business, the focus is more on TEAM BUILDING. Why is team-building important?

It is said that TEAM means “Together Everyone Achieves More”. The most important word in this sentence is the word “Together” and this is the most difficult thing to do. Teams often fail in their objective just because the team members are busy working individually and the togetherness is nowhere to be seen.

I cannot forget the day when one of our colleagues got so angry with the term “together” being used in a forum discussing team-work that he stood up and said, “So do you mean that I should tie myself up to one of my team members who doesn’t know anything about me or, whom I don’t know, with the expectation that I would then be able to achieve my targets”.

The benefits that team-work can bring in is undefinable. One has to experience it to know it. The intimacy that comes with team-work helps each other in learning new things and finding new and better ways of doing things. It increases your efficiency and knowledge. There are different kind of people in a team – people with different skill sets, different expertise, different view points etc. When this varied knowledge and skills are exchanged within the team members in a team, each of the team members stand to gain thus improving your productivity and efficiency.

Bonding and engagement is an integral part of a team. The more the team members engage within the team, the more the bonding and the better the bonding, the better the results. Various team building activities can help improve the team bonding. There are a variety of team building games that can improve the bonding within the team members. In order to improve interaction and involvement of the team members in a team, it is important to plan these team buidling activities from time to time.

Modern day organizations know the importance of team building and hence corporates have set-aside specific budgets for various corporate events to be organized. I have seen a sea-change in the mentality of the team members after a corporate event. Team outings, treasure hunts, themed reviews etc. have proved to improve the inter-relations between team members. Hence, recession or, no-recession, organizations that are serious towards team-building and understand its importance do not touch finances set aside for such corporate events. Consequently they always stay ahead of the competition.

Photograph courtesy Budslife “busy” used under Creatives Common License

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