How to Increase the Value of Relationships Through Powerful Teamwork
Last month, we loaded up my car first, then my son’s Mini Cooper with the goods from his teenage man cave. We left San Diego for the trek North embarking on the start of a brand-new college school year. He in his car alone feeling nervous and excited, me alone in mine, 30 minutes behind making sure I kept a stiff upper lip, no tears and a different kind of nervous tension. My baby is off again for his Sophomore year to create new relationships and to be a part of a new team, #teamChapman.
As we checked into his first on-campus apartment at Chapman University, the smile he had on his face stretched from ear to ear. He was so eager and enthusiastic he even commented, “I don’t know why I feel like this is the first day of college all over again. I can't even tell you what I did last year, but I know this year is gonna be great.”
Everything went off without a glitch. Check-in was smooth, expectations were handed out, his name was on his door and poof, the teamwork and preparation made by Chapman University did not disappoint.
In a past LinkedIn article, I've written about how the first day of school is very similar to the first day of starting a new job. In this blog post I am going to go way out on a limb to say that this type of excitement and nervous tension, not only happens on the first day of school or when you start a new job, but it’s the same type of excitement and anticipation that can be experienced by existing employees, business owners, and even returning college students.
Let’s take a look at opportunities where we can experience this type of feeling. For example, a new project, a product launch, a promotion, the first airing of a podcast, on-boarding a whale of a new client...all these actions and more can elicit very similar emotions. What if we could bottle the “new beginnings” emotion and unleash the power to build stronger teams or create growth?
Before we emote “new beginnings”, we need to make sure the infrastructure is in place from the top down, to support and foster the teamwork and growth that we are looking to create. My goal is to help sales professionals and entrepreneurs understand and be aware of the impact they have on the people around them. Awareness begins when you recognize the company culture you have created. The continuous use of acronyms and inside jokes may not be understood by a new person walking into the meeting and it could be considered as unwelcoming to them.
What steps can we take to make sure our colleagues, affiliates or partners feel like they are a part of the team?
How about we start with not guessing? Take the time to poll your employees and find out where you are today and how your employees, affiliates or partners felt when they were just getting started with you.
Here are a few tips to consider:
As my graphic implies, Together Everyone Accomplishes More. Teamwork is a combined action of a group, one or more. A CEO or team leader needs to clarify the different roles that will be part of a team. Sports teams have specific players that make up their roster. Baseball teams wouldn’t be successful if they recruited for only pitchers, and hitters. They look for defense and speed as well. When assembling teams, put thought into what needs to be accomplished. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and help set them up for success from the very beginning. Define the roles that make up the team and establish the value that each role brings to the larger project.
I believe it's safe to say that we know investors invest in the people that run the companies, not so much their ideas. Customers buy from companies that have a clear why. Good leaders inspire employees with their vision and their mission. What do they all have in common? All of these ideas, investments, and transactions are based on building relationships. One of the best ways to build lasting, meaningful relationships with anyone is to connect with them emotionally, make them feel noticed, let them know they are important and worthy of your time. When we value others, we increase the value of ourselves—we become aware and we grow as a result. Think about the opposite of this statement, Psychology Today states, “when we devalue someone else, we devalue ourselves—our sense of wellbeing deteriorates, we violate our basic humanity to some degree, and become more narrow and rigid in perspective, all of which impair growth and development.”
ENCOURAGE TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Researchers and bloggers write about improving communication. What better way to increase the line of communication than taking people out of their normal work environment and fostering this through activities? The whole act of a team-building activity mirrors that of internal team building. Teams are created, roles are given, and each role has a specific value. Members have to communicate to finish the activity, there is a goal that is set or a finish line and in the end, the winners celebrate their successes and the losers never hear the end of it back at the office. In the end, everyone that participates gets to know each other just a little better. Getting to know each other helps to understand the style and effectiveness of team communications.
I want to challenge you to make sure that you're aware of the inclusive feelings that you are creating in your corporations and in your teams. Ensure that you're making outsiders feel welcome. Continue to share success stories with upper management, the entire team and with other shareholders in an effort to make sure they have a valuable impact. When you share testimonials or results (positive or negative) about the project, the company or the culture, everyone becomes a stakeholder.
I've created a FREE printable checklist that you can refer to that has all of the above items as well as 10 additional actions you can take to make people feel important and welcome on your team.
If you are struggling to build stronger teams and promote growth in your business, this checklist is exactly what you need to help you figure out the missing pieces in your puzzle.
Download your FREE printable checklist by clicking the button below.