4 Ways to Create Cohesive Team Dynamics
Your employees, managers, and, if so lucky, family form the backbone of your business. In a perfect world, your people live the organization's core values, are aligned with strategic objectives, and represent the company well with customers, partners, and suppliers. Because they are so in tune with the organization's mission, vision, and goals, their collaborative support creates a strong bond of creative problem solving and maximizing resources. However, our worlds are imperfect and people bring diverse backgrounds, motivations, and perspectives, which can cause team turmoil. So when your people aren't functioning well together, how can you fix it?
The very culture of your company suffers when your people don't work together. The result is a lack of a common purpose or vision. Without dedication to a specific, predetermined course of action, it is almost impossible to call out peers for unproductive acts and behaviors, which leads to confusion and delays in achieving outcomes. In essence, you have a lack of teamwork, a lot of wasted energy, and high turnover. People leave bad teams, bosses, cultures, and talk in the community, making it difficult for you to attract good talent.
The good news is teamwork can be taught, encouraged, and eventually ingrained into your company's culture. If you work within a framework that fosters trust, collaboration, and respect, you can have a team that is adaptable and collaborates. That said, there are four elements to creating cohesive team dynamics.
Trust is the most critical factor in building rapport, healthy relationships, and teamwork. Trust is the unifying force that fosters cooperation, efficiency, and success. The transformation of a group of individuals into a team begins with trust. People feel more comfortable and confident doing what is necessary and getting the work done when they are confident those on the team have their back.
2. Effective Communication and Conflict Management
Interaction and communication are the foundation of "getting to know someone," which is how people determine if they trust someone or not. A problem that often arises is people, in general, think they communicate very well. However, the truth is we bring stereotypes, biases, emotional triggers, and communication patterns developed over time that don't make sense to other people, which is where miscommunication and conflict arise. For example, some people are comfortable sharing and challenging, whereas others view that type of dialogue as a stress-ridden interchange where a fight may break out. Organizational psychology tools and coaching provide your people insight into their natural communication patterns and others' communication preferences. Awareness creates flexibility, builds rapport, fosters relationships, and ultimately trust.
3. Commitment to Decisions and Action Plans
Core values specify acceptable behavior and attitudes in the organization. Additionally, job descriptions and performance expectations outline each role's daily activities, weekly, monthly, or yearly outcomes. And, mission and vision share with your people the purpose of the organization and what the future holds. As such, without core values, job descriptions, performance expectations, and mission and vision, your people lack direction and are lost for purpose. If there is no direction, your people will make it up as they go along and find a leader with purpose. The purpose may be fulfilling a personal or group ego, which is generally not aligned with the organization's mission, vision, and core value.
Clearly defined expectations are essential for giving your people direction and inspiration towards the organizational mission. The next step is consistency in what you, the owner, and the organization, will and will not accept related to behavior, attitude, and performance. Finally, the goal is for your people to understand their loyalty is not to you as their leader but instead to supporting one another in achieving the common objectives they have created together.
4. Focus on Achievement of Collective Results
Giving your people the freedom to concentrate on their joint achievements fosters positive reinforcement and eliminates individuality from culture.
Building a team is worthwhile, both in terms of time and money. It demonstrates to your people how they can do more as a unit than they can be working alone and competing with one another.
Kendall Rawls knows and understands the challenges that impact the success of an entrepreneurial-owned business. Her unique perspective comes from her educational background and, more importantly, from firsthand experience as a second-generation family member of The Rawls Group - Business Succession Planners. For more information, visit www.rawlsgroup.com or email email@example.com.
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