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.