Building an Effective Team

Having goals or a clear purpose is important to each of us. In fact, people who set goals are always more successful than the others.

For leaders who are serious about setting goals, some things are to be kept in mind. These goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and with Timelines. Besides, for any organization, goals should also be expressed positively. And for a team, goals need to be personalized for each member of the team. All these goals should be put in writing, where you as well as the team can see them often.

Once you sit down with your team and set some goals, it can be very useful to develop some kind of action plan for accomplishing that goal.

  • Informality as well as Participation: In order to build an effective team, the climate has to be informal, comfortable, as well as relaxed. There should be no tension or any signs of boredom. Teams enjoy getting together, they interact easily. There should be lots of good-natured kidding and laughter. Have seating arrangements in order to facilitate this. A circle is the best seating arrangement usually, while a typical classroom arrangement is the worst.

  • Listening: A highly efficient team has team members who use effective listening techniques. These include questioning, paraphrasing, as well as summarizing in order to get out ideas. Listening is the most effective factor that distinguishes effective teams from ineffective teams. This is a highly important subject which needs to be discussed in detail in another article.

    The ability to really listen is a highly important skill. Each team member has to have it. Listening lets you understand what the other person is saying. Besides, it shows the other person that you’re interested in what he/she has to say. But all of us experience common listening problems.

    We tend to let our attention wander. Our mind drifts away. We start thinking about the time, or other tasks at hand. This way we lose our concentration.

    We miss the real point of what is being said. We may end up focusing on the personality of the speaker. Else we may let our judgment of the person based on past experiences come in the way. Or, we may be trying hard to look for hidden messages and lose out on the crux of the conversation.

    Our emotions interfere with our judgment. This takes away our focus from what is being said. Our judgment of the person interferes with our understanding of what is being said.

    We tend to interrupt and step on the statements of others. This way we don’t listen to what is being said. Besides, there is a tendency to think ahead to what we want to say next and miss out on what’s being said right now. It is important to use the steps of active listening in order to be a good listener.

There are many facets of building an effective team. Having an informal atmosphere as well as listening skills are some of them.


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