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Build a Better Team: 7 Tips to Creating a Strong Team

There is power in numbers. A strong team is critical to the overall success of your organization, whether it be your customer service team or a project team. So, how do you develop a solid and effective team that will meet expectations, conquer challenges as a group, and produce results? For starters, you need to build the right foundation and framework in order to execute properly. Below are seven tips to help you develop a team of aces.

teamChoose your team wisely. The team can make or break a project, so be sure to put together the “right” team. Choose individuals with a variety of skill-sets, those who compliment one another, and people who work well together. Look for individuals who have industry/product knowledge and good communication skills. Accountability, enthusiasm, creativity, and flexibility are also great qualities of team-oriented individuals.

Assign a Project Manager. The Project Manager (aka Team Leader) will probably wear many hats throughout the project life-cycle. This person's main responsibilities are to provide project updates, keep the team on track, carry the project moving forward, and keep peace between all team members. This person might also assign responsibilities and track progress. A good Project Manager will provide support, insight, and motivation to all team members.

Equip your team. Give your team the tools they need to succeed. Making knowledge and resources available, as well as re-prioritizing their workload can help your team overcome the obstacles you have control over. Furthermore, continue to nurture the growth of your team. Experiences shape who we are; as people, we all have room to grow personally, and professionally.

Remember, no idea is a bad idea. Participation is key to a successful brain storming session, so make sure you create a safe place for people to throwout ideas. Make your team feel comfortable and confident when giving suggestions. Build them up and show appreciation and respect for their contributions. And watch out – jumping the gun and shooting down ideas will immediately sabotage a meeting. Not only will your team be reluctant to share ideas, but you'll create hostility and put people in defense mode.

Build camaraderie. Everyone likes to know they're doing a good job. So give your team a pat on the back and celebrate the big milestones. Maybe you take your team out to lunch or move the meeting outside on a sunny day. Fun always builds camaraderie! Doing things as a team, no matter how big or how small, strengthens relationships and promotes a team-oriented atmosphere.

Model and promote personal accountability. Teammates rely on one another in several different ways, like meeting deadlines, sharing the workload, working together towards a common goal, or simply showing up to a meeting on time. Accountability is about owning up to your obligation. It's about being honest with yourself and with others. Therefore, a team that operates under personal accountability principles is much more likely to be effective, compared to a team that places blame and gets lost in negativity. Remember, a bad apple can spoil the whole bunch and send the team into an endless flurry of the blame game. So don't let that happen. Accountability starts with you!

Get everyone on-board. It's difficult to launch a product or new service if people within your organization don't believe in it. Appoint one of your steering team members to be the Project Communicator. This person should educate staff, answer questions, and build enthusiasm before the launch.

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