Human beings tend to possess certain psychological barriers. Hence, they bring certain pre- conceived notions, perceptions and biases on the table when they are working together. Simply put, they don’t get along with each other and get trapped in a maze of internal conflicts. This can further adversely affect the culture and productivity of the team, and thereby putting the goals on off-track path or back-burner.
In order to enhance mutual understanding between the team members and keep them aligned with goals, most organizations and leaders undertake team building activities. Team building ensures that all team members are on the same page with respect to the goals of the company, project or leader. It reinforces a common understanding of their roles as an individual as well as a team member in the achievement of these goals.
Goal alignment is one of the fundamental elements of team building. However, goal alignment goes beyond mutual concord. It is also about ensuring that every team member accepts his or her ownership towards the goals. They need to realize that the accomplishment of the goal should be the ultimate aim of every team. Doing unnecessary drama over egos and misunderstandings will render the entire essence of team building futile.
A team is made of individuals and the silo mentality can create a rift. Team building is all about accumulating individual skills, knowledge and resources together for completing a task in a cohesive manner. Team building ensures that the team does not get divided by individuals.
Now you may ask what makes a good team. Well, a team can be effective only when they share mutual trust, respect each others’ ideas and opinions, extend co-operation and support to each other, commit themselves delicately to the goal and maintain a healthy social relationship with each other. If even one team member lacks these qualities, it can destroy the effectiveness of the team building.
Does the onus of team building lies only on the team members? Absolutely not. The team leader has an equal responsibility to hold the team together and lead them in the right direction. The leader should inspire his team. An able team leader breaks the ice between the individuals, maintains honest communication, shares success with mates, takes the responsibility for setbacks, is open to suggestions and feedback, and knows when to appreciate them or draw the line. A leader should lead the team by example.
One very important factor that most team building activities should take into consideration is the team’s physical and emotional health. Every team member’s well-being should be of the utmost importance to seek their hundred percent inputs.
You can enhance team building effectiveness in the following ways:
- Clarify the goals, roles and responsibilities.
- Build trust through clear, honest and transparent communication.
- Provide recognition and incentives for achievement.
- Nip the conflicts in the bud – address them promptly.
- Create a culture of learning.
Team building can help develop great people who can put their individual differences aside
to work towards a common goal.
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