If you’ve ever worked on building a team, chances are you’ve come across that one character that thinks they’re the “I” in team.
You know who they are; that person that wants to be the best, have the last word and they don’t care whether the team succeeds or not, as long as they do. Having team members like this can suck life out of a team and kill an organization’s ability to achieve its goals.
The thing is, competition within an organization can be great because when teams learn to be competitive and cooperative at the same time, it can improve company morale, productivity and bottom-line success. But when individuals strive to win on their own, it lessens a team’s overall effectiveness; these bad apples focus on themselves, not the team and individual status and individual goals hinder collective results.
When one member of a team puts their own goals ahead of the team’s as a whole, the team loses out. When a team doesn’t collaborate effectively, inefficiency soars, productivity suffers, and distractions abound; this is why trust and accountability are the backbone of a results-driven team. Business and Management Consultant, Patrick Lencioni has said, “a team can only become results oriented, when all team members place results first.”
How to Keep the “I” Out of Your Team with Team Building
1. Trust is the most important factor in team building.
Without it, any hope of productivity and a cohesive team structure goes down the drain. Your team needs to be able to trust each other, if you don’t have a team that trusts each other, then you don’t have a team that’s working together. For trust building tips for your team, check out the post, Cohesive Teams: It All Begins with Trust.
2. Set out clear and realistic expectations.
Be specific so everyone knows what the end goal is and what the consequences of not meeting that goal are. Keep in mind, a team that is not focused on results, fails to grow, is easily distracted, and rarely defeats competitors. My article Great Teams Focus on Results goes into further detail about why results are a big deal for team building.
3. Hold your team accountable.
According to Lencioni, one of the biggest problems encountered on teams is the inability to hold people accountable; when team members aren’t held accountable, they naturally look out for their own interests. Accountability equals reliability and both lead to results. If you’d like to dig deeper into why accountability matters, Accountability: A Must Have for Great Teams is a great place to start.
Remember, trust, clear goals, and accountability can keep the “I” out of your team, lead to effective team building, and help your organization power forward to success! Good team members are happy to acknowledge and celebrate collective accomplishments, secure in knowing that any success achieved automatically reflects individual success.
Do you have experience fostering trust, setting goals and holding a team accountable? I’d love to hear about it, share your story in the comments below. Or, if you’re looking to take your team to the next level of success, give me a call. I’m ready to help.