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Quick tips for building teams that click

Rarely do individuals work in isolation these days. More often than not, they are part of a bigger team effort. And with schools setting the foundation for the importance of collaboration as early as elementary school, being able to work as part of a team will only continue to grow in importance.

But teams are dynamic entities that must be developed, managed and nurtured to encourage collaboration and minimize conflict.

In Chron, an online publication targeted toward small businesses, author Erin Schreiner outlines Seven Strategies for Developing Cohesive Teams including:

  1. Team Member Selection – pair workers with peers they get along with
  2. Objective Identification – ensure everyone understands team objectives so they work toward a common goal
  3. Keep Communication Open – foster regular team communication as a group
  4. Promote Trust – try trust-building exercises or group activities outside the office
  5. Assist in Conflict Resolution – step in when needed to resolve issues
  6. Encourage Feedback – inspire individuals to speak up regularly, not just when there’s an issue
  7. Time for Fun – allow time for your team to socialize and build meaningful relationships with each other

The University of California, Berkeley’s HR group drills down even deeper, particularly on the emotional elements of group dynamics and achieving consensus, in its Steps to Building an Effective Team:

  1. Consider each employee’s ideas as valuable – there’s no such thing as a bad idea
  2. Be aware of employees’ unspoken feelings – be a role model by being open and respectful of others
  3. Act as a harmonizing influence – mediate when necessary
  4. Be clear when communicating – clarify objectives
  5. Encourage trust and cooperation among employees on your team – pay attention to group dynamics and take steps to improve communication and respectful relationships
  6. Encourage team members to share information – emphasize the importance of individual contributions toward a team goal
  7. Delegate problem-solving tasks to the team as a whole – let them develop creative solutions together
  8. Facilitate communication – set an example by being open, asking questions and getting involved when necessary
  9. Establish team values and goals; evaluate team performance – regularly talk to members about their progress and the challenges ahead
  10. Set clear goals – ensure that your team knows what needs to be accomplished when and what their responsibilities are
  11. Use consensus – set objectives, solve problems and plan for action to get everyone onboard
  12. Set ground rules for the team – develop simple guidelines as a group
  13. Establish a method for arriving at a consensus – determine a process for reaching agreement
  14. Encourage listening and brainstorming – stimulate debate, inspire creativity, encourage everyone to participate
  15. Establish parameters of consensus-building sessions – establish time limits and work with you team to agree

To keep your employees engaged, productive and happy, try some of these tips and let us know which ones work for you. Have some additional tips you’d like to share?


Drew is a PI Certified Partner, and the Founder & CEO of Lever Talent.

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