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How to Build A Team of Winners

There’s a very good reason why students moan and groan whenever instructors announce group activities. Many people would insist that they simply work better alone, or that they don’t feel comfortable when they have to depend on other people’s contributions for their own grades/outputs.

Working closely with other people is not always an easy experience. Differences in personalities, work ethic, and even personal beliefs sometimes lead to clashes that affect the team’s productivity and disposition.

However, having to work with other people is a situation we can never avoid, especially in the workplace. So whether you are a team leader or a regular part of your team at work, there must be conscious effort on your part to belong to a team of winners composed of people who are willing to work through their differences to prioritize productivity.

Here are tips on how to do just that:

1. Foster good communication

Healthy communication is key in the success of any team. If you’re the leader, keep everyone in the loop, regardless how well or how badly things are going. When employees have no idea what’s happening and whether their efforts are actually amounting to something, it usually leads to dissatisfaction and feelings of unfulfillment.

If you’re a team member, on the other hand, you have to speak up whenever you’re encountering problems or conflicts at work. Being open with how you’re doing and what you’re feeling is infinitely better than keeping everything to yourself and not giving your teammates enough opportunity to adjust and possibly improve things for you and the team.

2. Make it a habit to listen

Being open with one’s feelings and concerns in the workplace will only be a good thing when those in charge know how to listen. Communication is a two-way street, so if you’re in a leadership position, make yourself available and always listen when people are trying to bring up concerns they may be having at work.

Remember that every time you shut your door and your ears to valid concerns, you discourage members of your team from communicating in general.

3. Invest in team building activities

All the best places in the world to work in provide their employees with team building opportunities. It’s because they recognize that teams work better when their members are actually friends with each other.

Now, friendships are hardly built when individuals only have work as their common ground. In fact, the secret to building a more cohesive team is taking the employees out of their cubicles and allowing them to bond over fun things that are not within the scope of their jobs.

This one might be tricky to do now that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, but did you know there are online team building activities you and your team can sign up for?

4. Solve conflicts quickly

Even with open communication and frequent team bonding activities, you can’t completely avoid conflicts between people working together. You just have to be quick in resolving them before things get too ugly.

One thing you must never do is encourage office gossip. Never pay attention to anonymous reports and hearsay evidence. When someone comes up to you to complain about another workmate’s alleged blunders, ask for concrete evidence and resolve the problem in a non-adversarial manner. From the very beginning, be clear that you will not tolerate in-fighting and office politics that have no other purpose than to create rifts among members of your otherwise functional team.

5. Be generous with praise

Finally, keep workers encouraged by being liberal with your use of encouraging words. Whenever the situation calls for it, tell your people that they did well, or that you at least appreciate their efforts in the workplace.

Motivated people work better and groups that are praised for their unity andteamwork become more willing to work through their individual differences to achieve a common goal.

No two people are molded in the exact same way, which is exactly why working with teammates can be such a hassle sometimes. But as long as you are able to help members of your team realize that they have much more in common than they are different, you’d be able to build a team of winners.

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