Five top tips to try with your team
We all work in teams (to a greater or lesser extent) and hopefully most of us have experienced the joy of a team working well. There is something truly exhilarating about the experience of working within a group which works well together to achieve its aims. But getting to that point can be really challenging so we thought we’d share a few useful tips to try out:
1. Have an agenda that lasts longer than one meeting
Step back and consider how many hours you have in your main team meeting across the year. For example, if you meet once a month for two hours you have 24 hours in the year when you are going to work through your biggest collaborative issues. How are you spending this time? Are you working on the issues and challenges which will truly make a different to your collective success? We’d suggest you think carefully about how you use this time and make it count.
2. Do some serious thinking, and do it together.
On the main ‘agenda item’ spend half an hour or more allowing yourselves to develop your thinking and understanding of the topic. Give each team member two minutes (uninterrupted) to share what they are thinking about this topic – the good, the bad and the ugly. You’ll be surprised at what you learn and how much time it saves by not debating and challenging every point.
3. Take some time out together
Maybe a couple of days, a day, or even just a morning. As social animals, spending relaxed time with colleagues can make a real difference. It refreshes you, it helps you touch base with people you are finding it hard to work with, it can make you smile and, if you manage it well you could move key work and team issues forward. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to make progress.
4. Measure your progress
Speaking of progress… One of the simplest and most powerful techniques for improving your team is to ask yourselves how well you are working as a team. Ask people to respond on a scale of 1-10 (10 being as good as Leicester City haha). Once you have the individual scores, go around and ask people why they chose that number and to say one thing that could make them give a better score. Once you’ve done this a few times try a different question: How much progress have we made as a team? What is the one thing stopping us being more successful? You could always do this via email in advance and see what comes up.
5. Get a facilitator
Of course we’d say that – but it’s true. Someone outside of your team will be able to run a simple meeting differently, help you have tough(er) conversations and help you stay on track to come up with solutions. Don’t try and be everything to everyone; give yourself some support and see how well it pays off. Teams we work with are always surprised at the huge difference it makes.
Do you think your team would benefit from any of these suggestions? If you give them a go, we’d love to hear about it. And, of course, if you think we can help you with more ideas, don’t hesitate to get in touch!