Teamwork Training: 8 Tips to Get Your People onto One Team

Teamwork training doesn’t have to be a big ticket item. Follow these eight pointers and you’ll see your people coming together as a team – today!

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Teamwork Training in Eight Easy Steps

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Teamwork training takes some brains. You can think it’s all motivation and bravado and high fives – but you’d be woefully wrong.

You simply can’t “rah – rah – rah” people from divergent backgrounds and roles into one cohesive body. Teams are sophisticated, complex and dynamic groups. Your strategy for building one needs to be equally lithe, flexible and firm. Follow these 8 tips, and work them with your team leaders and get going.

1) Divide All Tasks Evenly and Fairly

Minimize overlap. Teams working well can handle tremendous amounts of work. Break it down and make each role matter. Make sure tasks lists are regularly itemized and publicly posted.

2) Learn Names

Make sure everyone else learns everyone else’s names. If you’ve got a few lost players, then you’ve got a losing team. People don’t have to like each other, but they do need to work together. Knowing your team-mates is a must.

3) Review Goals

Take a note of the personal goals of every team member. Here’s the important thing: Individual goals last longer than projects. Make sure your team members’ goals align – one way or another – with your project goals and your longer term organizational goals. Bring it all out in the open, and regularly review how each team member is doing with their own goals.

4) Meet Regularly

Same place, same time. Use quick, hard-hitting meetings to regularly update that itemization, re-divide and review. Honor success. Acknowledge failure. But don’t waste people’s time with meetings that go nowhere and that just review information better sent in an email.

5) Team Leaders are NOT the Opposition

Rather than opposing ideas (any ideas) brainstorm for consequences. Encourage all ideas, and write down even the very worst. In fact, start with the worst and run through the consequences. Then progressively go for better and better ideas. Make sure everyone’s ideas are included and, again, make sure they’re all written down. Meeting humidity dissipates, but the written word will last.

6) Include Everyone, and Monitor Feelings

Sabotage is seldom an overt act. Lots of team members will “strike” simply by sitting out, distracting themselves or refusing to budge. Make sure everyone’s ideas are heard and that everyone has a stake in the success of your project.

7) Praise

Your most humble people will hate it. Do it anyway. Make a review and acknowledgement a regular part of every meeting. Review who is not receiving praise.

8) Lead

Maybe this is the toughest one of all. Be there. Or make sure someone is there. If you’re a hands off kind of leader, then it’s probably already better. But make sure you know who’s got skin in the game, who are the stake-holders, who is due for praise and whose failures need to be rectified, fixed and reworked.

All of the things above need to be reviewed, processed and personalized by your team leaders. They might be re-worked but no team will leave anyone behind. And if you can handle all of this, then you’re well on your way to leading your team to the championship that every one of them is envisioning!

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Photo this page: 2010 SJHL Champions © Wikimedia Commons, by Kevin Radloff

Dan Ilic

About the author

Dan Ilic

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