Team Building Tips
3 Simple Team Building Tips
It is said that teams succeed or fail one relationship at a time.
Volumes continue to be written on teamwork, but building better relationships and engagement within teams doesn’t need to be “Rocket Science” as the old saying goes.
Human behavior is key to building teams. Behaviour springs from myriad factors and influences, a lifetime’s worth of them in fact, and of course your behavior can change over time.
The impact that we each have on our team is thus characterized by natural behavioural contributions that we offer as strengths, as well as our “allowable” weaknesses. If we are not careful though, “non-allowable” weaknesses may manifest also and adversely impact the team.
Critically team members and leaders should seek to honestly identify their workplace behavioural strengths and weaknesses.
A reliable and evidence based profile is ideal for this purpose. Sabre favours the elegant simplicity of the Belbin Team Role Model, conceived and developed by Meredith Belbin of Cambridge in the UK.
Via ‘Self Perception’, and importantly also via reliable Observers who know you well, the “Strengths” that you bring to the team, and also the ‘Allowable Weaknesses” can be profiled and mapped.
Reliance upon a purely “Self” assessment can often be flawed, and sometimes the best learning and insight comes from how others in the team see us and recognize strengths we may not fully appreciate ourselves.
Three simple tips that work extremely well thereafter are…
1. Play to your strengths.
When individuals and teams give themselves permission to play to their strengths, then engagement, innovation and job satisfaction can thrive.
The behaviours that you prefer to contribute (and / or that others value you for) are those that are most likely to bring you personal and professional success.
Projecting the diversity of strengths that each team member possesses at the right time can be a powerful multiplier of team performance. Where balance exists in a team, we can also offset one another’s weaknesses.
2. Manage your weaknesses.
We’d all love to be perfect, but as Meredith Belbin himself puts it so very well, “nobody is perfect, but a good team can be”.
Our behavioural strengths will also bring with them a flipside of the coin and a price to pay. It takes the form of our “allowable weaknesses”. These are quite natural and you might like to see them as the “Yin to the Yang” of our strengths.
When we better understand these, we can work on better managing them, and work to prevent them from becoming “non-allowable” weaknesses that may damage relationships, team morale and daily execution.
People in a healthy team can leverage each other’s strengths, and can also help to offset one another’s weaknesses.
3. Know the strengths and weaknesses of others.
To build upon self-insight and move towards high performance teamwork takes discipline to be sustainable.
It’s based upon expanding our knowledge and understanding to encompass the strengths and weaknesses of our team-mates.
A common language and framework for better understanding and discussing these can lead to greater tolerance.
We can also avoid disappointments and remove personality and imagined motives from day to day clashes and tensions within teams when we know what underpins it. Quite often it’s down to natural variances, or even too great of a similarity in behavioural preferences.
Emotional reactivity and conflict will always play a role in a healthy team, but when this level of understanding is present it can help to better manage and channel your natural talent and resolve unnecessary conflict.