Every successful operation must have a high performance team working seamlessly to reach the company’s goals. If you wish to truly become successful, then it’s time to put the work in.
All high performing teams have a trait in common. Team members are willing to put team goals before individual goals. The team members work together for the good of the team. You can see this attitude reflected in very diverse high performing teams from an army unit, a research team, and even a community social group. This cohesion rarely happens without effort. As a team leader, getting team members to look past their own goals needs to be a top priority. This can be the most challenging part when it comes to teamwork. A leader can start the process by developing and communicating a shared vision for the team. But to be effective, here are the requirements for success.
1. Connect emotionally. Your team members need to know you truly care about them. It is easy to connect on the highs, but you must also connect at the lows.
2. Connect intellectually. Challenge them. Teach them. Listen to them.
3. Resolve conflicts quickly and effectively. Conflicts can spiral out of control if not addressed immediately. Understand individual views but build cohesive views.
4. Support the individual but align effort in favor of the team. Recognize individual efforts individually, recognize and reward team accomplishments in the team environment.
In my career I have led many teams. Some effective, and some very ineffective. I have learned that when I did not take the time to work through these steps with individual team members, as well as with the complete team, I was heading towards failure. Regardless of how busy you are, if you want a high performing team, you must commit your time and effort to lead. So what are some other ways that we can build and maintain these relationships? Cindy Allen-Stuckey provided some insight into why building relationships is important to leadership:
People are more likely to go along with changes that you want to implement if you’ve had positive dealings with them. That’s because if they like you and trust you, they are going to be open to your ideas. Position relationships give you more time and energy to focus on opportunities to grow your business. That might sound counterintuitive–shouldn’t spending time talking to people take away from getting things done? Instead, good relationships allow us to save time instead of later spending time overcoming problems associated with negative relationships. If you have a good relationship with your managers, and with customers, suppliers, and stakeholders, those relationships will help you develop your career. This makes sense: if people know you and respect you, they are going to reach out when they have opportunities.
When you feel valued and respected, don’t you end up wanting to put your best food forward? You want to give your all in order to make that positive outcome happen. Creating a positive work environment and good working relationships with those you want to work at a high level of performance is a necessity. There are no shortcuts when it comes to enhancing your own leadership skills. This means making the time to connect with and nurture your relationship with your employees. If you do the work, you will see a noticeable return on your investment.