A client recently asked me for the top ten easy and simple actions to help build her team. She wasn’t asking for an idea; she was looking for specific actions that she could take to increase the team’s productivity and overall environment.
So here’s my response.
BTW – I had to make it a dozen because that’s just how I roll!
- Reinforce the team mission at each meeting – as well as the “why” this is so important
- Establish team ground rules. Reinforce them at the beginning of each team meeting and critique how you did at the end of the meeting. Pretty soon they will become second nature and you won’t have to critique at the end of each meeting ALL of the time…but always start with the ground rules.
- Start each team meeting on time and end on time. Great way to establish trust!
- Kick-off each team meeting with an icebreaker – it could be the attitude of gratitude, a shout out, atta-girl/boy, quick activity. Allow the team to get to know each other.
- During virtual meetings, make sure you remember those who are not in the main room – either post a picture of them by the conference line/phone or literally give them a chair at the table (I like putting a picture of the person actually IN the chair, but then again, I’m a bit weird.)
- Poll the team. Make sure you hear from every single person before you make a decision.
- Have an agenda that is sent out at least 24 hours in advance of a team meeting.
- Confirm your team’s action plan (who is going to do what by when) at the end of the meeting.
- Make sure the agenda and action plan do NOT have the same names for each topic/action.
- Establish a (small) petty cash fund to help people create some fun together!
- Don’t let the group manufacture drama. When someone talks about someone who is not in the room, go get that person and talk about it in front of that person.
- Not everything has to be a team decision, but when it IS, make sure the process to achieve a decision involves everyone on the team. (BTW, team leaders, it’s okay to participate! As a team member, you can work with the team to achieve a consensus, but if you don’t agree, then the team can’t get to a consensus! The “fallback” is usually for the team leader to decide – so no worries.)
What else would you add?
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.