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5 New Year's Resolutions for Better Team Building

1. Better understand your genuine strengths and weaknesses.

We all behave and operate differently within teams. This is based upon a unique lifetime’s worth of professional and personal experience. Developing a better and truly honest understanding of how we are individually and collectively impacted by our strengths, and weaknesses, is a potent enabler for team performance. Tools like the Belbin Model are well suited to this. Play to your strengths and manage your weaknesses.

2. Deal openly, professionally and quickly with conflict.

Dealing openly and quickly with conflict can be a great way to move forward. Failing to deal with conflict often creates more and worse conflict. Providing you are fighting about the right things (necessary variances of operating styles / professional opinions etc), conflict is quite a natural aspect of team development. Removing personality and adverse emotional reactivity is key to constructive conflict. Having the difficult conversations can often clear the air.

3. Commit to regular revues on “how we are working together”.

Business teams are always reviewing “what they are doing”, but taking time to review “how we are doing it” in terms of behavioural strengths and weaknesses can be a game changer. The root cause of our successes and failures often resides within the behavioural interactions, relationships and roles underpinning our teams. Good teams and good outcomes are built one relationship at a time not necessarily restrained by job titles and functional limitations.

4. Celebrate and acknowledge success.

Teams can often identify what’s going wrong, but be sure to pinpoint and celebrate what’s going right as well. Great benefits arise from objectively identifying and sustaining what works. Too often effective procedures, relationship combinations etc can be lost unnecessarily in hasty and all encompassing shake-ups. Identifying where people can naturally thrive within the team, and allowing them to build on that success engages them.

5. Keep it real / be yourself (just a well-managed version of yourself).

Corporate culture can be so plastic and fake. Individual initiative seems increasingly suppressed by a morass of jargon, buzzwords and sensitivities contrived around teamwork and leadership. We feel that it is not rocket science, but rather a matter of seeing past job titles and PC to be yourself, just a well-understood and well-managed version of yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses (your team mates already do), then play to the strengths and manage the weaknesses. Authenticity is the goal.

The process of team building is often obscured by masses of theory, jargon and complicated graphs with big words and pretty colours.

In our experience the simple models and approaches work best with real people and real teams.

Keeping it simple can be a big help.

At Sabre we use simple, effective and world-proven methodologies (like The Belbin Model) to help teams better understand how to sustain what works, improve where they honestly can and to fix any significant behavioural roadblocks in their way.

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