Is Teambuilding A Myth Or Reality In Your Organization? By Tim Connor
There are fundamental
premises that impact the performance of any team. They are;
Every team has unique qualities that contribute to its success or failure.
Every team has both internal and external issues and pressures that impact on its functioning.
Every team must effectively manage diversity in its members.
Conflict will be a natural by-product of any team dynamics.
How these conflicts are managed will determine the ultimate success of the team.
There are fundamental laws that govern a teams performance and outcomes just as there are laws that determine individual success.
Every team will go through stages of development and decline or renewal while it is an active entity.
Athletes who participate in "team" sports have known for years the necessity of teamwork. When they lost track of this important quality and a single member of the group became the focal point, the overall results suffered. If not in the short term, then certainly in the long term.
One of the coaches primary functions is to continue to reinforce this team spirit and atmosphere among its members. It is important that each member strive toward his/her full potential without damaging the spirit of the "whole".
If team building is thought of as a top down process by employees and management takes the credit for its creation and nurturing, eventually it will be replaced by another more or less effective fad or process. I do not mean to imply that team building is a fad, only that it will be perceived as just another tactic of management to improve individual performance and organization profits, if it does not become etched in the fiber of the business.
If team building is seen as a concoction of management gurus and philosophers it will have a short life due in part to their lack of first hand experience with both the process and function of how teams work.
If it is perceived as an inspiration of employees they will take ownership in its necessity, process and success.
There are a number of ingredients that are a part of the functioning of both an individual and a team. I would like to discuss briefly what I believe is the most critical.
Individuals have a self image and self concept that contributes a great deal to their performance, self worth and success. This self concept and self image become the most critical elements of the persons psyche, often determining their further developing attitudes about life, themselves, their roles and their future.
A team is made up of individuals with individual self concepts and self images. The team therefore becomes a composite of the accumulated self issues of the team members.
What does this mean in terms of team performance and outcomes.
Every individual performs consistent with their self image. If a sales person feels they are a $100,000 a month producer that's where their monthly sales will range, anywhere from $80,000 to $120,000 a month. Usually no better or worse than their average. This average is a composite of their self worth, self image and self concept. There is no way an individual can achieve consistent greater results than they think they are capable of. Yes, there will be spurts and slumps here and there but generally their results will fall within this range.
The same holds true for any team. There is a "team" self image, self concept and self worth. Their results and approach to opportunities and problems will be consistent with these "team" self fulfilling attitudes.
Achieving consistent better results with the individual salesperson requires an inside change in thinking not changes in territories, prices, products, quotas, and so on. And yet most managers are frustrated with the lack of improvement in sales results when their focus is on these outside in issues.
Achieving better results with the team requires the same strategies. The "team" must feel worthwhile, they must feel good about themselves as a team, their mission and role.
The job of the team leader and/or manager depending on who holds that position, is to build the self concept and self image of the team. No easy task when you consider that the team may be made up of multiple "self images", some positive and some negative.
Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, relationship, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; He can be reached at email@example.com, 704-895-1230 or visit his website at http://www.timconnor.com.
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