Growing Your Core Team

Ask any Fortune 500 company what sets them apart from the competition and they’ll answer, “our team members.” Without a competent core team dynamic your customer service, in-house processing, and product quality can suffer. But how do you grow the strengths of your work team and harness their potential for creating better customer service? Below, we’ll clue you in to some team development traits and management skills you can foster in yourself and in others. Spoiler alert – it’s all about interpersonal communication skills!  

Establishing the tone for the workplace

What’s the first rule of team building? You must establish your leadership and set the tone for the workplace by your example. Building a dynamic and productive core team starts with building trust and loyalty with your staff. You create this positive environment by actively listening to your employees, considering their ideas, being aware of their unique personalities, and acting as a harmonizing voice that can mediate minor disputes when needed. Encouraging clear communication and transparency is also vital when a problem arises. Avoid the tendency to search for a scapegoat; instead engage the team in problem-solving exercises. Face the problem head-on rather than resorting to “the blame game.” When you’re evaluating individual team member performance, get their feedback on how they measure success, what they really care about in their job, and how they can take steps toward meeting personal and company goals. By giving them a stake in the day-to-day operations of the company, you’ll build a sense of ownership and workplace pride. By creating a workplace culture of honesty and teamwork, you’ll find any challenge to be surmountable.

Build your people skills

The importance of teamwork cannot be overstated in business. No CEO, no matter how driven, can handle every curveball that’s thrown at them without the help of their dedicated staff providing their own expertise, insight, and experience. To maximize your staff’s effectiveness, start by building your own interpersonal people skills. Your team will follow your example. Ask most experts and they’ll say there are at least 20 people skills any good leader should master, but three we think you should focus on are: displaying empathy, honesty, and integrity toward others. The ability to understand someone’s point of view (even if you don’t agree with them), display patience, and actively listen and show genuine interest in their ideas can smooth out operational challenges and personality conflicts far quicker than rigid and punitive measures.

Respect is a two-way street

If you’ve ever suffered through a team-building retreat, you know that sometimes the silliest group challenges create the best memories and bonds between co-workers. Why is this? Because sharing a goal, and the frustrations and successes while achieving that goal encourages your team to be honest, proactive in offering ideas, and supportive toward one another’s accomplishments. These are the kinds of attitudes you want to permeate your workplace.  By showing your sense of humor and patience while tackling pressing problems, being aware of your body language, and being considerate of what your team members are experiencing, you’ll make “respect” a mantra that every employee will live by each day, and in return give you the respect, dedication, and productivity needed to create more future successes. 

What you should take away

In summary, by establishing your influence through positive, honest communication with your team, displaying the qualities you want your team to employ in everyday operations, and by showing respect through every interaction, you can help encourage your team to achieve any goal. We learn by watching our leaders and if you lead with integrity, your team will follow suit.

As we all deal with the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus and its impact on our day to day lives, it's important to step back and take the time to care for ourselves. Here are some of the things that are worth consciously working on in the coming weeks.

SPEND TIME WITH LOVED ONES, especially children. In today’s busy world often our time with the ones we love gets put on the back burner. As events, activities, and schools cancel….and more and more people work at home, now is a great chance to get caught up with each other.

REDISCOVER THE SIMPLE THINGS. There was a time when we weren’t “on the clock” 24/7, when our children weren’t spending each evening in activities… when life was a routine. With much of that canceled for the near term, now is an opportunity to have family dinners, play games, read that book that you can never get to. Take a step back from the complications of the world. Take a breather.

FIND THE GOOD IN THINGS. We are bombarded all day and night with the negative things that are going on. There is much criticism over governments, mass hysteria, other nations, etc. But there are good stories out there as well. Stories of people helping people. While it's a shame that we have to work hard to find these, it is worth the effort.

Last, and most importantly, KEEP A POSITIVE MINDSET. It is so easy to succumb to the negativity that flows from a crisis such as this one. But keeping a positive mindset is one of the best things that you can do during this time. Positive energy will help you maintain your health, be productive, and reduce stress. Moreover, it is contagious. Everyone that you come in contact with (from 6 feet away of course) will be affected by your energy, even if just a little bit. And the more positive energy that is released into the world, the better this situation will be and the quicker it will resolve.


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