Building a Team

Team building is more than just assembling a group of people to accomplish a specific goal. Effective team building requires thoughtful assessment of each individual’s strengths and what they can bring to the team. Using a personality assessment tool like NocNocK can make this process much more efficient while helping you, as the manager, better relate to your team members. There are strategies you can use to ensure that your team is the best it can be. Here are some strategies to try:

Choose a Leader
To have an effective team a group leader needs to be chosen. Group leaders keep everyone and everything on track. A good group leader is someone who will make sure that the team is motivated and focused. They are often chosen because they have the technical ability or because of their communication and people management skills.

• Directive team members are good at the kind of leadership when you need to get things done.
• Expressive team members are good at the kind of leadership when you need to work as a team.
• Considerate team members are good at the kind of leadership when you need a good plan and strategy.
• Systematic team members are good at the kind of leadership when you need to execute a plan according to a process or methodology.

Establish a Clear Goal
To be a successful team, before beginning work on any project the group must agree on a common goal. With a clear goal, the group avoids wasted time, loss of focus, and conflicting agendas.

• Directive team members make decisions in a confident way and act quickly on those decisions.
• Expressive team members rely on interpersonal relationships and are more likely to commit when they feel there’s a relationship and a sense of trust with the rest of the team.
• Considerate team members are reflective decision-makers and want to minimize risk before making a commitment.
• Systematic team members want to follow a decision-making process and will commit once the facts and objective criteria are clearly presented.

Set a Schedule with Clear Deadlines
After establishing a clear goal, create a realistic schedule with clear deadlines. By creating clear deadlines, you help everyone track their progress and avoid missing milestones. Good time management is essential to the efficient completion of tasks.

• Directive team members will jump in and drive to hit the deadline.
• Expressive team members will benefit from a deadline, and it will help them keep focus.
• Considerate team members will multitask well and be persistent, but a deadline will help keep them on task.
• Systematic team members will want to make sure they have the clear instructions to meet the deadline.

Create Open Lines of Communication
To ensure that questions are answered in a timely fashion and that everyone is up to date on the progress, you need to have frequent interaction between team members. Make sure there are ways for team members to check-in with each other regularly – team meetings, email, chat, etc. Working in isolation leads to confusion and assumptions that can derail any project.

• Directive team members want the communication directly.
• Expressive team members want to be included.
• Considerate team members will want updates and few changes.
• Systematic team members will want a progress chart and detailed updates.

Do What You Do Best
When assembling a team, it is desirable to include different types of personalities. Each personality brings their own unique skills to the mix. Including people with different approaches strengthens the team by providing more skills for tackling a problem. For instance, if you are skilled at communication but not skilled at organization, you might volunteer to be the spokesperson for the group. If you are very organized, you might opt to manage the schedule. The point being, you are on a team, and you don’t have to be able to do everything. By strategically grouping individuals with a diverse set of skills to accomplish a specific project, you make the work easier and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Charlie Sheppard is President of Sheppard Partners, Inc., a company on the forefront of next-generation behavioral assessment technologies. Sheppard Partners is an organizational development consulting company that focuses its efforts on helping organizations create high performance cultures. He brings experience in organizational development, specializing in the assessment, design, and delivery of development programs with an emphasis on strategic alignment, leadership development, team development, and negotiation skills. By developing innovative technologies and delivering creative solutions, Sheppard Partners is an active partner in the selection process, in the creation of effective teams, and in ongoing organizational development. Charlie coordinates the activities of Sheppard Partners consultants and serves the firm as the lead developer of assessment technologies and courseware.

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