Team Building

In most companies, when you get results, you get rewards. And if you can’t lead teams to success, you’ll end up stuck in a job with no exit. Use this strategic blending of common-sense strategies and implementable team building exercises to build and bolster your winning team…

You want to improve teamwork. So you reward group performance, praise any signs of collaboration and prod loners to become joiners. That’s a good start, but why stop there?

Make sure your team is working more like the Manhattan Project and less like Enron… Use these articles, exercises and strategies to get your team building training up and running!

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When teams sputter, conflicts can erupt. As the leader, you can insist that difficult personalities find a way to get along. Encourage diverse teams to look past their differences. Use these strategies to cure your team's negativity.

Even with the best of intentions, people sometimes have difficulty coalescing into an efficient, high-performing team. Challenges arise out of miscommunication or an unclear understanding about functions and goals.
Have you drunk your organization’s Kool-Aid? Yes? That’s fine, but remember the difference between your group’s internal image and the way it is perceived in the real world.

When leading teams, resist the urge to overdo it. Some facilitators jump in and play fixer as soon as the group hits a snag. But the team won’t grow if you intervene too soon—or too often.

Some teams struggle to work together. Personalities clash, disagreements intensify and meetings turn into protracted turf battles. When groups become polarized, shake up the status quo. Try these techniques to reverse a downhill spiral so that teams regain their footing.

In 1985, Michael Houlihan co-founded Barefoot Cellars, where he served as president and chief executive for 19 years. Despite launching the company with no money and no knowledge of the wine industry, Houlihan and his partner, Bonnie Harvey, built a global brand in 28 countries with sales of almost 600,000 cases a year.

There is a common misconception that a selfish person makes for an unmanageable employee—perhaps this person will destroy the team dynamic that we all strive for within our organizations? But organizations that don’t pay positive attention to me-oriented employees miss the opportunity to gain highly self-motivated team members who can significantly benefit the organization.

Even though Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, oversees a workforce of about 8,000 people, he spurs innovation by getting out of the way. Rather than micromanage, he prods employees to think like entrepreneurs launching a business.

Savvy leaders induce compliance rather than demand it. To lead others in the right direction, articulate a clear goal and set a time­table for attaining it. Let the conversation unfold in three phases:

As president of Usher’s New Look Foundation, Shawn H. Wilson puts a premium on openness and communication. To drive his team toward success, he asks that employees assume a “no-spin” attitude in talking about problems.

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