A new project gets started, a new division is created, new staff come on board—and voilà! A team is born. As organizations and industries are transformed, new teams are brought forth to respond to new challenges. As with newborn babies, the first weeks of these new teams' lives can be critical for future success. And they can be difficult weeks for team leaders.
Here are some pointers for supervisors who find themselves at the helm of these newborn teams:
Forget what you know. Caring for a newborn—even if not for the first time—is a learning experience. The things that work with one baby don't always work with another. It's the same with teams. The easiest way to delay, or even derail, the crucial process of building a new team is to try to impose expectations or strategies that "worked with the last one." Instead, focus from the outset on goal-setting, motivation and cooperation within this team performing these tasks.
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