Building teams – miniseries

Written by Cliff on Saturday 25 July 2015 at 7:27 pm

Having been engaged in grassroots entrepreneurship efforts for the past six years, we are collating a wealth of experience on collaboration and profit building within a sustainable and ethical framework. We intend to share our knowledge and experience from time to time when we get such time to do so.

Teams are basically groups of people working towards a single goal. You can find teams anywhere. The first team you probably encounter is your family. Then there are school teams, sports teams, project teams, working teams, departments, offices, companies and conglomerates.

The fewer the number of people, the less the team can achieve, but if there are more people, friction and inefficiencies between team members can reduce achievement levels. So most work gets started with small teams and as the team members learn, they can grow the team to achieve more without losing on the inefficiencies. Some teams become too large quickly and fall out shortly afterwards. Some teams get too comfortable with themselves and lose out on growth. Feeling the balance becomes something a leader must do in order to achieve optimum output while sustaining a healthy team atmosphere.

Fundamentally, a team is built on trust. If team members do not trust one another, communication falters, causing distrust, fear, lack of accountability and reduced output. There are a myriad ways to build trust. For some teams, work ethic and quality can enhance trust. For others, it may require a more personal touch. For many teams, however, the quality of the individuals within can more easily build or destroy trust. If an individual is educated and trained in such a way so that he or she is sensitive to the needs of those around him/her and is willing to sacrifice a little bit of ego to understand and/or meet those needs, it goes a long way to establishing inter-team trust. The leader may also consider providing an environment of encouragement and understanding so that team members are more willing to communicate without fear of retaliation. It can be difficult if a new team member has had previous shocks before and it will take time for him/her to trust that your environment is safe.

A team built quickly without establishing trust between members will fail spectacularly.

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