Creating High Performing Teams

How do you build a Strong Management Team?

Have you ever noticed a company with a team of strong managers who are all on the same page. They are knowledgeable, know the company’s goals, and work hard with the right attitude to achieve at the highest level. How does it happen?

Two common elements can be found. A strong leader/manager is in charge. He/she is not only a good communicator and a good role model, but the organization is also dedicated to working together in teams to improve processes and solve complicated problems. First-rate communication skills are essential to establishing and accomplishing goals.

A second element is an emphasis on teams i.e. having regular meetings and team building activities. Being part of a productive team is fun and challenging. Teams best decide many complex issues. It takes longer to reach a consensus or strategy, but studies have also shown decisions achieve results more smoothly and with fewer problems. The early quality circles in companies were effective in putting peer pressure on all members of the team to perform. Now teams are essential to keep up with a complicated and changing world where new competitors emerge from different industries and new technologies can quickly change the slope of the playing field. Here are some guidelines for effective team building.

• Make it a regular event – the job is never done. Teams should meet on a regular basis. This allows everyone to get to know each other. A productive tone should be set so the group gets down to busy right away and ends meetings on time.

• Make it fun. A skilled outside facilitator or internal person can lead entertaining meetings, which provide good messages, but it also provides a different format or atmosphere for learning. Key goals should be agreed upon ahead of time i.e. improve communication skills, share creative solutions, emphasize key company directions, etc.

• Interactive is the rule of the day. As an effective professor, I quickly learned that calling on people engages people and sets a tone. Everyone should be involved. In a company meeting it may be powerful to have teams stand up and move around to solve problems together.

• Meaningful content and stories endure. Illustrate points with stories and metaphors. Ask participants to share clients stories, challenges and successes. Use company specific examples to highlight key messages.

• Be energetic and maintain eye contact. 93% of communication is non-verbal. You can learn a tremendous amount by watching the audience. As a facilitator, I like to engage and challenge the most skeptical. Get them involved or ask them to be a leader through questions.

• Be well organized in your delivery. As previously mentioned, good stories and metaphors are essential, but it also important to relate to men and women with your exercises, questions and content.

• Summarize key learnings at the end of the meeting. Ask a range of people to share what they will take away.

This year will continue to see business and technology move at laser speed. Training can be an important component, even in small companies, to stay ahead of your competitors. There is more choice in markets today than ever before, and customers/clients are more knowledgeable than ever before. As you take time to see and view the big picture, set goals for your training and team-building efforts. Don’t be afraid to think “reach outside” or try new approaches to find creative solutions for your company.