Collective high morale of the team is the greatest contributor to the habits of winning. Any team can’t think of wining without the collective readiness for the winning. Creating great teamwork is a challenging process. Referring to a collection of people as a team doesn’t make any team winning. A group is typically a collection of people who are collected headed by the leader where member works on their own most of the time with little or no dependence on other member of the group. But the team shares the leadership, people in the team are interdependent, they have collective sense of responsibility not just ‘My Work or Your Work’. The goal of the team is more prominent than their individual goals. Individualism is the prime character of a group whereas a team plays on collaborations.
It is easier to decide on change than to get people to change. People and teams are creature of habits and changing habits are much harder than changing structures and systems. Whose responsibility is it to create a good team; the leader or individuals? A leader is seen as the owner a team but in this age of quick and exhaustive information, leaders can’t only be considered as the full source of information to lead the team. Though, there is a leader of each team but situational leadership is required where each individual has to lead in different situations.
Positive team spirit and sportsmanship attitude are required. A robust culture is the result of nurturing individual and team spirit. There are numerous absolutes of team building but a few are indispensable, they not only build the team spirit but also integrate the individuals to pursue for a common goal. Some of the TeamSpiritBuilders are as follows.
TeamSpiritBuilder #1, Seamless Communication
Communication is the blood of any team, it carries the information and ideas to be shared with the team. Communication is not limited to mastering any language and usage of contemporary phrases and expressions, it is an intention to let your ideas flow. Good communication is all about inner readiness to share what you think. The main objective of communication to put everyone of same page. Honest and transparent mind-set allows good communication to happen. Aim toward two-way interaction, exchange of ideas, and developing new insights in regular communication.
TeamSpiritBuilder #2, Togetherness
All corporations, big or small, are running many events in their organizations to promote inclusion at all levels. It main objective is ‘Togetherness’. When people come together in an informal arena their bonding grows, their understanding about each other grows, truth strengthens and stress bursts. Create times for people to laugh together and loosen up. This will also stimulate creativity. Consider some of these ideas: start a meeting with a relevant joke or funny story, show a clip of a comedy video tape that pertains to a current challenge. But, on the other side when people do not participate with their wish and are forced to participate, it works in other direction. This has to be ‘Very Intentional’. But what if individuals are not ready to come for these activities? then we are picking the wrong chord first. We need to fix another chord.
TeamSpiritBuilder #3, Empower for Ownership
Ownership provides confidence among individuals. Control-obsessed culture often broods escapism. Giving ownership does not means throwing the responsibilities to the individuals but it should be supplemented by resources. Encourage opinions on important decisions affecting the business. Give a voice to each individual so that everyone shares the context that they are able to contribute to the success of the team. When people feel like they’re being heard, it will go a long way toward enriching relationships, fostering collaboration, and heightening engagement. No team can grow when people are afraid of taking the responsibility.
TeamSpiritBuilder #4, Higher Mood State
The mood elevator; the higher mood state or lower mood state determines the morale of the team. The higher mood states are; curious, flexible, sense of humour, understanding, appreciative, optimistic resourceful, creative, insightful and grateful. On the other hand, the lower mood states are; impatient, irritated, worried, defensive, judgmental, burned-out, angry and depressed. The feelings on mood elevator are nothing more than product of our thinking. Inability to cope up with stress leads to lower mood states. Stressed team cannot be a winner team. The leader should have a sense to measure the stress of the team and take steps to de-stress the team. This should be the first step in the journey to be a great team. In an atmosphere of high expectation from the customer it is next to impossible to stop the stress from the source but individuals should be made capable of managing the stress. And this has to be taught. How? This can’t be done by repeatedly saying that ‘ you should learn stress management’ but provide training to fight the situating. They should learn how to prioritize, how to organize, how to seek help and most importantly, how to negotiate. Healthy state of mind creates healthy culture.
TeamSpiritBuilder #5, Trust
Trust is the foundation of healthy team and trust builds in an environment of transparency. Trust helps in accepting deepening relationships and removes politics and silos from the work place, creating an organization within which people feel safe. A team without trust isn't really a team; they may not share information, they might battle over rights and responsibilities, and they may not cooperate with one another. It doesn't matter how capable or talented people are, they may never reach their full potential if trust isn't present in the culture of the team. How to build trust? Trust can’t be built by preaching about trust, that many organization does. Open communication is essential for building trust. Everyone in the team should be talking to one another in an honest, meaningful way. And that can be done when everybody is clear about what he/she is doing and how it is contributing to the common goal. Know each other by meet regularly, share personal stories or experiences and respect differences.
TeamSpiritBuilder #6, Learning, not just preaching
Fast changing dynamics of businesses requires people to learn things quickly and implement them into the job. The success of the team largely depends on how responsive the team is towards change and readiness to learn. Leaders who only inflicts fear find it difficult to motivate the team. Leader are facing a lot of problems when they assume people should understand by themselves. Even the smallest issue may require training. Training is about learning the new way of doing any job. Corporate trainings are of two types; technical trainings and soft-skills trainings. It is easy to get the people work on any new tool but often difficulty to convince that their email response time is more than expected. Simplify the process. Don’t exhaust employees through complexity and buzz-words. People seek direction that is too the point. People are inspired when given the opportunity to learn how to do new things.
TeamSpiritBuilder #7, Encourage Networking
Ability to network with people outside the team means to expand our orbit of resources. Not a single process or skill can be excelled in isolation, we are required to work in collaborations. To be comfortable among ‘not friends’ forces you to learn a lot of new social skills. Networking is about people enjoying other people, communicating passions and connecting with others who share those passions. It’s about listening, figuring out what others need and connecting them with people you think can help, without any designs for personal gain. Each team members should understand the need of healthy networking.
TeamSpiritBuilder #8, Measure performance
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Prepare team profile on the basis of above seven TeamSpiritBuilders and rate your team from 1-10. Set realistic goals weeks by weeks. Prioritize needs. Focus, where you require more development for ex. if your team is poor in communicating ideas then it should be given top priority. Communicate the performance result to the team and ask their suggestions for improvement for the next cycle. Involve team in goal-setting and planning. Two-way communication get the individuals connect with the requirement.
Winning culture creates winning teams. Culture is defined and created from the top down, but it comes to life from the bottom up. You really can’t change the culture without changing the behaviour of the individuals in that culture.