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Coaching Your Team Towards Greatness

Using A Few Simple Steps

It would be wonderful if a one day team building event was sufficient to create the in-depth change in your group that you are hoping for.

Maybe the word miracle would be more appropriate.

Certainly, well facilitated experiential team building can be a powerful force that helps teams arrive at key discoveries and breakthroughs. However, effective team building needs to make the vital connection with the pulse of your team's daily activity, its current objectives and immediate goals.

Experts say that 70% of the work we do these days is in teams and small work groups. If so, doesn't it make good sense to regularly develop the best team skills possible? To improve the manner and the methods that can create the best collaborative work with steady effort?

Team building must be a part of the real time, day-in-day-out dynamic of the workplace.

So, team building ought not be confined to a singular event - but become a continual process.

Here are eight ways you can build a better team on a daily basis:

1. Encourage and reward best practice team behaviors- open communication, being accountable, meeting commitments, the willingness to engage in healthy conflict, reaching consensus and then cheerfully adopting the groups' decisions.

2. Model good team skills from your leadership position by being a good team player:listen effectively, delegate broadly and be willing to consider and accept the group's direction over pushing your own dictates.

3. Set up regular "Taking our Team Temperature" meetings."What's working?" "What's not?" "What are we learning about ourselves and our team?" "What might we do differently?" "What's keeping us from realizing our goals?"

4. Use icebreakers to kick off meetings.This encourages playfulness, risk-taking and thinking creatively - all good team skills.

5. Be willing to appropriately share some personal information about yourself.Ask the same of your crew. They will come to trust you and each other for displaying sincere vulnerability.

6. Spend time brainstorming better communication methods for your projects.Brainstorm better ways of arriving at goals. Brainstorm everything. Brainstorm all the time. Encourage full participation. Ramp up the energy. Be willing to entertain even outlandish ideas so that great ideas have room to flourish.

7. Debrief often, especially after a goal has been reached."What worked?" "What might we have done instead?" "How can we avoid these mistakes in the future?" "How can we recreate this success?"

8. Utilize a team coach or facilitator to work with your group on a periodic basis.The focus would be simply on the improvement of team skills. The best sports teams practice all the time. And, they all have coaches. Why don't you?

Rather than thinking of team building as just a yearly event, you can create a solid team culture with your consistent daily efforts.

Improved team skills causes even a good team to work better together and become a great team, accustomed to regularly producing the very best of results!

By Jeff Blum, Lead Facilitator at The TeamBuilding Co.

Copyright 2011 Jeff Blum. All rights reserved.