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Avoiding Team-Building

The last few weeks we have been learning from Patrick Lencioni’s wisdom about what makes great leaders and poor leaders. He classifies a major category of poor leaders as reward-centered leaders and tells us five major mistakes of these leaders. So far we’ve looked at these three:

  • They don’t like to have uncomfortable, difficult conversations.

  • They don’t manage their direct reports well.

  • They don’t run great meetings.

This week we look at the 4th mistake: avoiding team building.These leaders do not invest time in growing teams. They either abdicate or delegate. They think team building is overly emotional and a waste of time. They consider the process uncomfortable. But, if you can’t build the team, you are not truly serving your organization.Research has consistently shown that when organizations focus on training their leaders and building effective teams, organizations will reap significant rewards or returns on their investment. Sure, building effective teams is hard work. But there are compelling reasons why team building is very worth your effort. Having effective teams where everyone feels like an effective part of the process . . .

Facilitates better communication – Open communication among employees, and between employees and management, improves office relationships and then the quality of work improves as well. Once employees feel they can communicate with each other, it will give them the security they don’t have to face challenges alone.

Motivates employees – Team leadership and team building are partners. The more comfortable employees are expressing their ideas and opinions, the more confident they will become. Confident employees take on risk and challenge.

Promotes creativity – When teams are exposed to new experiences together outside the office, they are forced to think outside of their normal routine. This often ignites creativity and fresh ideas for the entire team.

Develops problem-solving skills – Crisis can happen at any time in our organizations. Working together to solve problems in activities in non-crisis days prior can develop the ability to think rationally and strategically. That makes the team able to effectively take charge when a real crisis occurs.

Breaks barriers to trust – Team building increases the trust factor across the relationships in the company. You might be surprised how little trust there is across the board in the workplace. Too many times employees sense too large of a gap between them and their leaderships. Team building exercises offer opportunities to be colleagues rather than boss and employee. This raises morale exponentially.

Boosts teamwork – Many employees have never experienced truly being part of a team.While many team members know how to work independently and take direction from their supervisors, it might be challenging to collaborate with their peers. Learning to do this is motivating and fulfilling.

Leads to better conflict resolution – Conflict resolution is a big part of any job. However, how virtually anyone handles conflict can be significantly improved if team building is in place. Whenever we feel unsure if we can trust our peers, we don’t communicate or handle differences well. Knowing each other helps solve conflicts in a more efficient way.

Discovers hidden skills – Without building teams, individuals often do not have opportunities to display their strengths. When we build teams in a relaxed environment, people can show what they can do more casually, and leaders can learn more about their people without pressure.Everyone in the workplace can benefit from team building. If you are a leader who wants to grow yourself, others, and the organization, it’s worth your best effort. Great leaders will lead best when they prioritize team-building activities that develop motivated, loyal, and productive team members.

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