Team building is the most essential leadership skill to grow and build a successful business or a successful team working on anything, an important factor is working with self aware individuals. Since most of us are not born that way, here are some tips that will help you get earn candid feedback, as well as trust and support from your teammates.
1. Assume positive intent. Give your teammates the benefit of the doubt. Assume they are providing feedback not to judge you but to make you better.
2. Talk to your teammates, not about them. You can’t solve problems with gossip. Venting without follow-up action ensures you are building cliques and solidifying rifts. It takes courage, but talking directly and respectfully with teammates when something goes wrong can solve many misunderstandings without creating drama or bringing others into it.
3. Care about your teammates’ success. Start by taking an interest in your teammates’ success. Ask questions about their concerns, know what their goals are, help where you can, and be a good listener and collaborator. You can’t be a Loyalist teammate if you don’t know what drives others’ success.
4. Push your teammates to do their best work and vice versa. On Loyalist Teams, team members challenge each other to reach their goals. Loyalists don’t spend energy watching their own backs, so they take risks and reach higher. Start by asking your teammates to challenge you. Bring them ideas and ask for input. Ask for feedback on your plans. Embrace the idea that your teammates make you better.
5. Ask for personal feedback. Before offering feedback, ask for it first. Ask your teammates what you could do to better support their success. Ask peers for suggestions on one behavior you could work on to become a better teammate. Give permission for teammates to share feedback by asking for it regularly and listening openly. Thank others for giving you feedback.
To defy the odds of unself-awareness, work to create a team of Loyalists around you, people who trust you, support you, and challenge you to be your best. Surround yourself with people who will speak their truth, even when it’s hard. And then listen. When you do, you will see an amazingly positive impact – on you, on them, and on the overall success of your team.
Audrey Epstein is a partner at The Trispective Group and the co-author with Linda Adams, Abby Curnow-Chavez and Rebecca Teasdale of The Loyalist Team: How Trust, Candor, and Authenticity Create Great Organizations. For more information, or to take a free team snapshot assessment, please visit, www.trispectivegroup.com.