Saturday, April 30, 2005

[How to: TV] How to Build a Team

These notes are from Peak Performers by Charles Garfield.

Team building/playing involves being able to start a project AND contribute to someone else's. Peak performers have a drive to stand in while they stand out; leading the teams they build and also joining them.

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3 essential skills for this: 1) Spirit - keeping the mission alive. 2) Peer Pressure - enforcing performance via reminders of the mission and its values (not via intimidation). 3) Communication - keeping the channels open and clear.

Leaders have a vision of the entire project. They keep communicating this vision around the team. Best way is to get everyone in a big room. Effective communication calls for: Empathy. Authenticity. Concreteness.

Rather than rewards and punishments, make certain each member understands the simple fact of teamwork: "If my end of the boat sinks, so does yours."

LEADERSHIP communicates the mission clearly to people who will catch fire from it and generate their own motivations and drive for results. It’s seeing possibilities before they become obvious: A leader gives power and responsibilities to others, " carrying water for his people so they can get on with their jobs."

Much of a peak performer’s impact is achieved by making sure other people perceive their goals as worthy (and of benefit to them). The real source of good results is the wholehearted personal commitment of everyone involved. Think longer and harder about building your people structure than anything else.

  • Delegate to empower. Releasing power in others, whether in co-workers or customers, benefits peak performers in the long run.
  • Stretch the abilities of others.
  • Encourage educated risk-taking.
  • Concentrate on solving problems rather than placing blame for them.
  • Persuade more than order. Listen to people, get them to align willingly with the team effort instead of merely obeying orders.
  • Seek input from others.
  • Show political sensitivity.
  • Share rewards and recognition willingly.
  • Assume people in the team have needs. For self esteem, belonging to an organisation one can be proud of, standing out while standing in, self-actualisation. Satisfy these needs by offering autonomy and responsibility at work. People want acceptance, recognition and to know their work matters.
  • Vigorously share information; have regular brainstorming sessions.
Draw a triangle of Team Goals, Methods for how each individual can contribute and Yardsticks.

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