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Team Building - Never Use A Sledgehammer To Guide The Ship

Dec 7, 2007
When it comes to team building, what kind of leader are you?

If you are the team leader in your company let me be the first to congratulate you. The role you possess is a difficult one to establish and even harder to perpetuate, but it can be an exceptionally gratifying position to hold.

You are saddled with the task of managing staff, customers, vendors and business associates. These four groups are the short list of team building for business. So much depends on your ability to effectively bring this team together and keep it together or replace internal team members as needed with new staff who have the same goal oriented approach required for long term business success.

You must be an equal mixture of diplomat, coach, counselor and cheerleader. You are charged with carrying the torch for the team and they look to the light you carry and follow the path you forge.

If you are involved in the process of building a team of employees don't allow your vision to be too small. Take the idea of team building beyond the walls of your business to all those you deal with in the fulfillment of your vision for the company. A vision caster is always an interesting individual to follow.

It is easy to look at the job of team building and consider a dogmatic approach to 'whip' the staff into shape. However, Marry Poppins said it very well when she sang, "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down." A little grace in the workplace can go a long way in managing blunders and endearing the staff to yourself.

When you are dogmatic in your approach to management you can take someone that may want to be on your side and resign them to the role of diplomatic adversary. What I mean by that is that when you criticize and complain about an employee they may remain in your employ simply because they feel they have no better option, but they may remove themselves from the roster of active team players.

These employees are often the ones who will talk negatively about you to other employees when you are not around. They will repay criticism with criticism and it has to potential of poisoning the entire team.

If, as a team leader, you need to be firm about something you should do so in the context of guidance through encouragement. Suggestions for team members might be best phrased in questions so the employee comes to a conclusion on a better way of handling an issue on their own while you simply ask leading questions instead of demanding immediate conformity.

No one on your team is a throwaway player. You need everyone on your team and you need everyone to move in the same direction. This will always work better when the team leader uses a rudder to guide the ship instead of a sledgehammer to get the crew's attention. One gets you to your destination while the other is liable to sink the ship.
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