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Building Effective Teams

Friday, February 12th, 2021

Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

Teamwork – that blending of diverse talents, skills, personalities, and working styles into an efficient, productive human-machine. What makes it work so smoothly in some companies, while others struggle?

It begins with choosing the right employee to lead the team. Not every employee who has the level of knowledge and skills to head a project, can be a great team leader. Even the guy/gal who is invested the most time in the preliminary work might not have the bent to lead the team to the finish line. Choose a person with a demonstrated ability to motivate and inspire, instill accountability, and solve problems and make decisions. Look for these essential skills. Take note that most of them are designated as ‘soft’ skills.

Communication – A leader must be able to communicate clearly and effectively in both one-on-one discussions and team meetings. This includes the ability to keep the team on track during sessions. He/she must be adept at reading between the lines, and aware of both their own and the team’s body language. The ability to not only provide, but also receive feedback is a critical skill. Being a great listener is also essential.

Delegation – Top-notch leaders recognize the skills of their team and delegate appropriately. Someone who holds back from delegating because they want to control all outcomes is not a leader.

Creativity – A great leader is creative, but just as vital, he/she knows how to motivate and inspire creativity in his/her team. Encouraging confidence to try new ideas, rather than fear of failure is essential.

Trustworthiness – Look for honest employees, who are willing to take responsibility for their mistakes, owning up and doing what they can to correct the issue, rather than playing the blame game. A man or woman who can both apologize and extend grace is crucial to team leadership. Integrity influences all other traits.

Commitment – Team leaders must be committed to the task. A goal setter and a goal achiever, the guy/gal who takes the initiative, and does not quit until the mission is complete.

Ok – your leader is at the helm, and you are confident he/she is your best choice. What’s next?

An effective team must have a defined and understood purpose on which to build. They need to know the answers to questions such as the following:

  • Why are we here?
  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • When does the project need to be completed?
  • Who will play which roles?
  • Which responsibilities belong to each role?
  • How will we measure progress, and consequently, communicate our progress?
  • What materials, tools, software, etc., do we need to complete our purpose?

Knowing where you’re headed, why you need to get there, and when you need to arrive are crucial to a team’s success. But the one ingredient that will either make or break a team is the trust factor. Your team must be able to work together, blending their diverse skills and perspectives. To do this, requires trust. Because trust builds the type of atmosphere that invites new ideas, challenging feedback, and honest evaluations, the team leader must trust the members, and the members must trust the leader, as well as each other. Candor and honesty are not only welcome but expected. Google puts it this way,

“In a team with high psychological safety, teammates feel safe to take risks around their team members. They feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.”

In the end, what matters the most in developing effective teams is not who is on the team, but how well they work together. That is where Waypoint Search Advisors can be your best support. We are passionate about placing top-flight talent in the perfect position. In our minds, the best match is the one that delivers desired long-term results for our clients, and ultimate career satisfaction for our candidates. Since people are at the heart of every recruiting effort, relationships are paramount to sustainable success. That’s why we practice a hands-on approach that keeps our candidates and clients at the center of everything we do. Contact us today.

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