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It’s easy to assign people to a particular team, but how do you actually get those people to operate as a team that works towards a common goal? Volumes could be written on this subject simply because each team creates its own unique dynamics. Channelling those dynamics in a way that leads to success in meeting goals is a challenge best met through team development activities.
How do you build an effective team? It begins by building team member participation in the vision of the company which is then moulded into team participation. A team member must feel committed, empowered and able to use a particular expertise in a way that promotes team goals.
Promoting teamwork within an organisation requires that certain critical issues be addressed first in order to give members the information and desire to commit to the team. One of the biggest problems organisations experience with teams is the inability of team members to understand how the success of the team will play an important role in the success of the company.
Teamwork is promoted by developing the following.
* Clear understanding of the mission of the company
* Mutual trust between team members
* Open communication between team members
* Open communication between team and organisational management
* Development of creative thinking skills
*Development of coordinated action plan with common goals
* Development of mutually acceptable team conflict resolution practices
For a team to be effective, it must be empowered to achieve its goals. One of the most common mistakes a company makes is creating a team which is discouraged from presenting new ideas or approaches to achieve goals.
Promoting Teamwork Through Dialogue
In essence, teamwork is developed through effective dialogue. Open dialogue is how teams learn about the company mission, resolve conflict, communicate within the organisation, and communicate with customers. Learning how to dialogue in a way that promotes the vision of the company is critical. Looking at it from another angle, if managers and staff are unable to communicate in a productive manner, it will be almost impossible to build a team.
Teams within an organisation can take several forms and dialogue is important to them all. Teams can be department teams, special project teams, or the organisation as a whole. It doesn’t matter what team you want to develop, promoting teamwork begins with team members learning how to effectively communicate.
One of the main complaints heard within an organisation is, “This company doesn’t care what I think.” The employee may say, “My manager never listens to me.” Another frequently heard statement is the following: “I tried to tell them it wouldn’t work.” Upon consideration it’s easy to see each of these statements addresses lack of good dialogue between members of the organisation.
Many companies choose to add communication skills training to their organisation for this reason. Effective communication transmits reliable information and includes feedback given in a non-threatening manner. It is open dialogue that enables a company to develop the skills and environment needed for successful teamwork.
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