Sunday, August 01, 2010

There IS an I in TEAM

Check this out from business guru Harvey Mackay:

ABCs of team building

By Harvey Mackay

A reader recently wrote to me about a column I penned several years ago, the ABCs of selling. She told me how often she used it and shared it with her colleagues.

Then she challenged me to come up with the ABCs of team-building, a topic that seems particularly popular in this era of reorganizations, layoffs and downsizing. The following concepts are what I consider the fundamentals of team-building:

A is for action. No team can function without a plan of action, even when the final outcome is to take no action at all.

B is for brainpower. If two heads are better than one, I would submit that a cohesive, well-assembled team should have enough brainpower to attack any project.

C is for cooperation and communication. Team members need to cooperate, even if they don't necessarily agree. Clear communication is the roadmap to cooperation.

D is for dedication. As members of a team, you must be dedicated to the goals of the team, or you are on the wrong team.

E is for ears. Use your ears more than your mouth because listening skills are critical for team success.

F is for fun. Work should be fun, and working together is usually a lot more fun than working alone.

G is for the group effort. The motto needs to be "all for one and one for all" in order to be a real team.

H is for help. Ask for it if you need it, and offer it if someone else needs yours.

I is for the ideas that come from brainstorming and picking each others' brains. Let the ideas flow and then choose those which hold the most potential.

J is for juggling. Combining all the company's needs and desired results will often require a juggling act, but a competent team will be able to achieve that balance.

K is for kinetic -- energetic, dynamic team members keep things moving.

L is for leadership. Every team needs a leader, and every leader needs to be able to depend on the team.

M is for motivation. Nothing motivates a team like trust placed in them by management to solve a problem.

N is for negotiate. Give and take is as important within a team as it is with outside clients.

O is for open mind. Team members need to be open to options they may not have considered, and willing to expand their perspectives to find the best answers.

P is for planning. A plan doesn't need to be rigid to be effective, but it must provide enough direction to keep the team on course.

Q is for questions. Asking questions is the best path to finding solutions. Don't be afraid of asking any question. If you don't understand something, chances are others don't either.

R is for results. The whole point of forming a team is to achieve results. The only variation on that theme is that the results may not be what had been originally anticipated.

S is for solutions, which differ from results in that there may be more than one solution to any given problem. Then the team can implement the best choice.

T is for time management. A well-managed team uses their meeting and planning time efficiently, and understands when it is time to finish the project.

U is for unity. Once a decision is made, the team needs to be unified to implement the plans. If the team can't act as a unit, then it may be necessary to reconfigure the team.

V is for voice. Every team member has to have a voice in the proceedings, and it is up to the team leader to insure that all voices are heard.

W is for work ethic. Each member needs to complete the given assignments and should have confidence that others will demonstrate the same commitment.

X is the X factor -- the chemistry that makes a team productive because all members are committed to the same goal.

Y is for yes -- say it as often as you can. "Yes, I can help. Yes, that's a good idea. Yes, let's move ahead. Yes, we did it!"

Z is for zeal. Passion, eagerness and enthusiasm are contagious; share your zeal with the rest of your team.

Mackay's Moral: The team you build will determine the business you build.

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