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Building Corporate Teams Step by Step

Updated on July 7, 2011

Team Building Matters

La Defense business center in Paris
La Defense business center in Paris
La Defense business center. The architecture is similar to most high performance business centers around the world.
La Defense business center. The architecture is similar to most high performance business centers around the world.

Is teamwork a low priority for corporations?

Every year companies around the globe are spending millions of dollars on maintaining their offices and getting the latest software. This is done in order to ensure that employees of the world's largest corporations have all the tools they need to do their jobs - in many cases to serve the customer. But are they spending money in the right place?

if you ask any company, the training budget for teamwork and employee development is often much smaller than either the information technology budget or the office rent. With the latest trends of outsourcing payroll and human resources, many busy managers find themselves carrying the extra burden of dealing with team issues. Are they properly equipped for this?

Teamwork is the key

The foundation of a successful team

There are many aspects that influence people's ability to work together successfully under pressure and many books have been written on the subject.

Follow these simple, time tested principles in your daily interactions and notice spectacular results:

Step 1. Avoid direct criticism, especially aimed directly at the person. Nobody likes to be told they are wrong, and this action only arouses deep resentment that will burn for some time. Instead, try to coach your team members in private and in person. Focus your remarks on the action and not the person. State specific behaviors that you would like to be corrected
Step 2. In today's busy world, people like to save time. One area you cannot skimp on is giving out sincere praise for a job well done. You cannot batch this task either. Your team members must be praised consistently for good performance and even the slightest improvement in performance. Keep in mind that it takes over 5 positive interactions to counter every single negative one.
Step 3. Related to praising the team is also sharing the success. If you worked hard with someone, please put their names on your presentations or verbally acknowledge their effort, even if it is plainly obvious. This will make your team appreciate you more and will make you seem like a better leader if you were in charge of the effort
Step 5. Try to deepen your workplace interactions and find a connection with people around you. Ignore the temptation to participate in the daily "how are you?" small talk, and try to find something that you can really appreciate about your teammembers. This can be their business experience, their volunteering history, their golf swing, etc. Try to discover 3 facts like this, which you can turn into conversations meaningful to the other person. This may seem counterintuitive, but talking about the stuff your team mates love will make them like you more.
Step 5. In the previous step, you discovered that when people are excited to be around you, they tend to like you more. The opposite is also true - if you are excited, energetic and enthusiastic around others, they get "infected" by your positive attitude and like their interactions with you. So put your problems on a back burner, smile and be cheerful!

Step 6. Start building corporate team relationships by team member names. Begin your conversations and your emails with addressee's name. Nowadays, finding an employee's name is easier than ever - the cubicles and offices have name tags and online employee directories help you find names and even preferred names quickly. Addressing a teammate by his name will make you appear to know and care about the person you are talking to. 

Step 7. Finally, be attuned to the non-verbal and intonation messages around you. Only 7% of in-person communications are done through the words. The other 93% are split between the intonation and body language. Some cultures put intense emphasis on non-verbal communication. So listen intently and understand the entire message. If you get a hunch that something is not being said, ask for a clarification. Make the other person feel heard and you have established a foundation for a productive long term relationship!
Taken together, these steps help you establish a foundation of trust and respect that prevents tempers from flaring up and ensures that communication channels remain open, even under pressure!Try these tomorrow and stick with them for a week, you would be amazed at the results. 

Team in action
Team in action

Are companies spending money in a wrong place?

Human Resources. Personnel. Recruitment.

These activities have long term impact on the company's success and over the years, hundreds of successful interviewing techniques have been established to determine employee's job fit. Behavioral interviewing is just one of such techniques.

Unfortunately, once the employees get through the front door, there's very little that is being done to evaluate the job fit. This lack of direction for the employee pushes some people in a dead-end career track, which results in decreased motivation and productivity. Like the 1998 comedy, "Office Space", these developments are also found very late by consultants, and often result in terminations, downsizings, rightsizings. This is a tragedy for both the corporation and employees - reduced morale impairs performance and re-hiring an employee often costs 1.5x the annual salary!

Is there a solution? We would love to hear from you!

Teamwork poll

Does your company provide enough tools for your team to reach your full potential?

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