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- Align goals: Without this point, nothing else matters! If you think you have a team yet one person can succeed (receive a pay raise/ reward) while another can fail (not receive a pay raise/ reward), you don’t have a true team. A team must have the same / aligned goals to function as a team. They must think about the team first – every time. If you agree on a goal, plan or action item while in a meeting with your “team” yet anyone in the meeting complains about it after the meeting, is that a team? Do you expect that team to achieve the business results? What “works” isn’t always easy – take the time to align your goals and the rest will be easy.
- Define metrics: Once you have a team goal, you need to know your progress towards the goal. It is rare that a team puts together a plan and achieves the goal without any updates to the plan. Metrics allow you to understand how you’re doing and what changes you could make in order to achieve your goals. It allows you to keep score.
- Seek to understand first: As conflicts arise, remember that you are a team. Seek first to understand and then to be understood. Many times, conflicts are due to misunderstandings: not disagreements. If you try to understand where your teammate is coming from, you’ll be in a much better position to brainstorm a win-win solution together.
- Communicate: Make communication a priority – and meaningful.
- Catch ’em doing it right: People need to know how they are doing. When someone makes a difference, notice it. Everyone likes to feel respected and noticed for doing a good job. This simple act can help keep the team together and motivated.