“Whether we’re talking about leadership, teamwork, or client service, there is no more powerful attribute than the ability to be genuinely honest about one’s weaknesses, mistakes, and needs for help.”
– Patrick Lencioni
When business leaders ask me what are the most important areas to pay attention to right now in terms of productivity, corporate culture and the overall health of a business, I narrow my response to two main areas: leadership and teamwork.
Know Your Weaknesses
Yes, leadership and teamwork happen to be in my areas of expertise, but they are also key components that can make or break a business. And due to the instability of the pandemic, shutdowns and physically distanced workers, those areas are also likely to be significant weaknesses.
Just as Patrick Lencioni suggests in the opening quote, good leaders are honest about their weaknesses. As companies continue to adapt, transform and move forward in these very fluid times, it is imperative that you ask for help.
First Focus: Teambuilding
I’ll be addressing the leadership aspect of potential weaknesses in future blogs, but for now, let’s focus on teambuilding.
Keeping leaders and teams connected is a challenge under the best of circumstances. After all, it takes time, attention – and intention – to nurture relationships in the midst of a drastically altered workforce. Company leaders will continue to face a whole new set of challenges including restoring relationships and rebuilding corporate cultures.
And that’s where team building comes in. Here are five steps for building – or rebuilding – your team, fostering team engagement and creating outstanding team performance.
5 Tips for Powerful Team Building & Development
1. The Five W’s and an H. A journalist friend often mentions this well-known tool as a way to make sure the basic facts are covered in her articles: who, what, where, when and how. It is also a handy reminder when it comes to teambuilding, because although I’m partial to making sure clients understand the why behind it, you also need to understand the vision, purpose and reason for team building. In addition, consider the outcomes that you want in order for the content to be specific, and strategize a team building program that will meet all your desired outcomes.
2. Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize. I’m hearing a similar refrain from my leadership development clients, and it goes something like, “I’m stressed, completely overwhelmed and have no idea where to start.” If you’re feeling that way, you’re not alone. My advice is to address what is most important and urgent (hint: it’s team building and development), and be honest with your capabilities. In other words, and I’ll say it again, ask for help.
3. Experiential is Key – When I work with new clients, they usually have a preconceived notion of what team building and development is, and most of the time it includes boring, all-day events with meaningless and sometimes embarrassing activities, followed by awkward group hugs and a strained round of Kumbaya. Let me set your mind at ease: that is not what effective team building and development looks like.
A comprehensive team building and development strategy must be experiential and have workplace application. That includes practicing new behaviors, constructive debriefings, and clear action plans applicable to day-to-day behaviors. And news alert, there is no one size fits all – it is crucial to develop custom programs that fit your specific needs.
4. Know Your Audience. Your team building strategy won’t be effective if your team isn’t ready for it. But how do you know? There are plenty of factors to consider for team readiness:
- Do you have new team members?
- Have there been significant changes in roles?
- Have team members left the organization?
- How established is your team?
This links back to the importance of a custom program designed specifically for your needs. All of these factors will impact not only your program design, but also outcomes and effectiveness.
5. Consider the Logistics. Once you’ve figured out the first four steps, it’s time to plan. The logistics will set the tone for your team building activities, so details matter – they need to complement your goals. Things to consider:
- Location of events – will they be indoor, outdoor, or a combination of both?
- Agenda that supports desired outcome
- (are there more here?)
Note To Leaders: Ask For Help
My biggest suggestion in all this – and you’re not going to be surprised – is to ask for help. Your team building company can ensure you get off on the right foot, help assess your team building needs, and create a program designed specifically for you.
There’s no getting around the fact that team building and developing is an area that you can’t afford to ignore. The Vida Aventura team is ready to help, and with our experience and expertise, we’ll turn your weaknesses into strengths. Contact us today.