As the old saying goes, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” This
works counter to the natural humans behavior since we normally respond best to
“What’s in it for me?”
Bridging the gap between working as a team and satisfying
individual wants and needs is as much as the duty of the leader as of every
team member. It begins with how you act since you must lead and follow by
Here are six ways you can build team spirit:
1. SHOW RESPECT TO EARN RESPECT
It’s not uncommon to see a person’s demeanor change when
they get promoted to or chair a higher position. They mistakenly think that
people should show them respect as their new title demands. It’s an ineffective
strategy. People respect people who show respect.
2. LISTEN ACTIVELY BEFORE TALKING
One way to demonstrate respect is to listen actively to teammates. Keep the conversation productive, but listen even when it stings. When teammates feel like you genuinely care about their problems, they reciprocate.
3. EQUAL CONSIDERATION OF INTERESTS
If it appears that you’re putting your interests above (or
below) your troops’ interests, you’ll fail to win crucial support. Demonstrate
that you place all interests on an even plane. You’re looking for solutions
that satisfy the needs and wants of the team.
4. KNOW THE PURPOSE OF EVERY COMMUNICATION
Before speaking (or writing), know why you’re speaking (or
writing). Move along logically in your communication toward that purpose. Don’t
react emotionally – sometimes it’s better to let something sit for an hour or a
day, rather than harming a relationship.
5. CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY
How you say it is as important as what you say. If you’re
correcting a colleague, don’t frame the conversation in “you”. Report what
happened, explain why it’s not acceptable and suggest ways it can be rectified.
And keep it between you, the leader and the relevant colleague.
6. THINK MUTUAL SELF-INTEREST
As you begin exploring solutions, find ways for everyone to
win. By knowing the wants and needs of the individuals on your team, you will
find answers that get you and everyone excited about working together. It’s not
as easy as barking out and following orders, but it’s a lot more fulfilling and
also more effective in the long run.