How to accomplish more by working with a team

By Stan Toler

The next time you see geese flying south, think about the reason they always fly in a “V.” Scientists figure that formation adds at least 71 percent to the flight range of the flock. By working together, they accomplish more.

That’s teamwork.

Here are six essential skills for developing your own dream team.

Delegate Responsibility

Delegating responsibility involves five elements: setting expectations, providing direction, allowing for creativity, negotiating deadlines, checking on results, and rewarding performance. Don’t be threatened by the ability and availability others. Enlist them to build your team.

Affirm Others

The people who play team ball in your organization are those need your applause. Most often, we applaud the obvious standouts musicians or teachers in church, sales or production leaders in business. But every team needs people with a variety of skills. If you honor only the shot takers but never the shot makers, you’re team will not thrive. Whom you applaud you empower.

Provide Support

When people are trained and commissioned for a task but not given adequate support, they may complete their assignment late, below expectations, or with a poor attitude. But when a person is offered the training and resources needed to succeed, he or she will feel part of the team. When you delegate, ask, “What do you need?” You’ll gain a long-term contributor.

Motivate Teammates

People are motivated by many things: money, guilt, and recognition to name a few. But the best motivator is the unseen one the eternal value of what you are doing. Always point that out. Volunteers are not merely setting up chairs; they’re serving Christ’s church. Employees aren’t just selling a product, they’re enhancing the lives of people.

Evaluate Results

If you don’t care whether your team wins, then there’s no need to keep score. If you’re interested in success, you’ll need to evaluate performance. Did we reach our goal? What could have been done better? How will we avoid making the same mistake next time? What can I do to improve results? Ask these questions often.

Reward Performance

When your team has a victory, celebrate! Point out the contribution of each member. Let them know how important they are to the whole. Never let a milestone pass unnoticed. Find a reason to cheer; it will energize your team.

Great teams don’t just happen; they’re shaped by great leaders. Pour your energy into others, and they’ll pour their energy into the mission.


Copyright © 2012 by Stan A. Toler

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