Good Teamwork Begins With A Great Leader
Great teams are vital to the success of any business. However, creating a good team remains one of the greatest challenges that leaders face today. Why is it so difficult to have people work in teams? What are the factors that prevent employees from binding into a team while performing any task? Great leaders are necessary to ensure the highest possible efficacy and best results. They know not only how to identify what interferes with the team binding, but also how to counter such factors.
The first and most visible among obstacles in teamwork is lack of clarity and accountability; every person on the team needs to know what their specific role and responsibility is and what everyone else is responsible for. Unless each member is clear about their role, they will not be able to do their best or produce the results that are required. Clarity starts with each team member understanding what is expected of them, including deadlines for completing specific tasks. Telling someone they need to email ideas about the project isn’t enough. What kind of ideas do you want, are they ideas that this individual will handle or broader ideas for the team? How many ideas are you requesting and by when do they need to send them to you?
You can’t hold someone accountable until you are certain they have clarity about your request. But, once you are certain they do understand, it’s important to discuss accountability for each and every team member. What happens if they don’t do what you need by the due date? Without consequences it’s difficult to hold anyone accountable. I’m not suggesting firing them, but maybe they don’t get the project they wanted or a key role on the project. Maybe it’s related to their performance review. There are many ways to hold others accountable that don’t involve money or termination.
Another very critical obstacle in good teamwork is the inability to give credit where due. Every person wants to be appreciated and recognized for their effort and results. Unfortunately, in many teams only one or two members are highlighted, while the rest go unnoticed. When this happens regularly, the invisible team members will not be willing to cooperate. A great leader knows that each and every person brings value to the team and acknowledging each person’s contribution is important. The results of each person are not equal, but the praise and credit passed out should be.
A third barrier to effective teamwork is uneven work distribution. Though one cannot ensure that all tasks are evenly shared by all team members, there has to be a check and balance on the overall workload. If some members find themselves slogging all the time, while the other enjoy freedom from work and responsibility there will be problems. This unevenness of work distribution can be a very big deterrent in bringing a team together.
Leadership within the team is another key factor that may act as an obstacle in creating good teamwork. The leadership in the team may be a department head, but it may also be the team lead for this specific project. Great leaders understand that there has to be one person ultimately responsible for making decisions, providing guidance and working with team members to move things forward. Without a clear understanding of who is leading the team, a team will not jell and is likely to fall apart.
One of the most important roles of a great leader is to ensure that people get along and are able to work effectively in a team. By eliminating the types of obstacles described above that interfere with effective teamwork, individuals have a chance of coming together to form a great team.
Can you turn your team from clock watchers to happy, energized, focused and contributing members? Contact us today to discuss our workshop, Dare to Communicate.
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