You pick the best people. You organize correctly. But without the right level of participation from everyone involved, even the best, most organized team may fail to realize optimal productivity and performance. That's why every manager and team leader must take every available step to maximize participation. Read on to learn how.
Participation is the key to team results. In practical reality, it takes a team to complete a project, solve a problem and brainstorm strategic decisions. Whether you lead an individual team or an entire department, your ability to motivate that team to success is critical. Along the way, you will have to provide encouragement, direction and inspiration. You will also have to manage team relationships and smooth over the inevitable bumps in the road.
Within any team environment, personality conflicts and territorial disputes will arise, and you have to either overcome or eliminate any potential roadblocks to team success. As a result, your first goal as a team leader or manager is to minimize these potential conflicts by ensuring that your team is structured for maximum participation and collaboration. (Also Read: Organizing for Team Success)
Team commitment and results are dependent upon active participation.... after all, the whole purpose of "teamwork" is to combine resources for better results (i.e. "two heads are better than one...."). Ideas are contagious, and the more ideas, the better, particularly in tough economic times, when budgets are tight, and resources are limited. Team participation can alleviate these burdens, leading to high quality, creative solutions. (Also Read: How to Motivate Your Team)
To cultivate optimum team participation, you must have a good handle on your goals and overall dynamic. As such, you should be prepared to answer the following questions....
If you want to achieve optimum team participation, you need to let your team members know what you expect, and what is expected from them. With that in mind, you can lay the foundation for open participation and communication through the following strategies and tactics:
As a team leader, you job is to lead, and to get the team to function as a cohesive unit. To meet this goal, you can follow a few simple steps focusing on “leadership by example”:
Tip #1 - Avoid team domination. Your job is to lead, not to control. Even if you have all the answers, let the team dynamic play out.
Tip #2 - Uphold the ground rules ... participation levels will rise when team members can see that all ideas are respected and given due consideration.
Tip #3 – Be sure to ask probative, “out of the box” questions during all meetings and team interactions to stimulate creative thinking.
Tip #4 - Be sensitive to contentious situations. Team conflicts are unavoidable, but at a team leader you can diffuse tense situations as needed with a few strategic words and actions. For example, depending on the circumstances, you may choose to handle a conflict head-on, or you can table a difficult issue for a later time, when emotions have subsided. In any case, you should avoid isolated, off-side reactions to conflicts, and you should always be consistent in how you react to team conflict.
About Us- ITtoolkit.com has been around since 2001. What will you find here? We have articles (covering a wide range of topics relating to our IT service strategy and project fast tracking methodologies). We have templates and whitepapers to download. We have our series of IT management infographics. And, we have our "Toolkit productivity packages", combining "education and execution" - with time-saving concepts, steps and templates packaged in digital downloads. Our current Toolkit offerings include the Fast Track Project Toolkit and IT Service Strategy Toolkit.
If you are, then you need the IT Service Strategy Toolkit from ITtoolkit.com! The Toolkit teaches you how to "add value" to IT projects and services -- using our time-saving "service strategy process". It's ready for instant download, filled with 400+ pages of steps, guidelines, practices and templates. Find Out More
Strategic fast tracking is a streamlined project management process, used to level the playing field when "project problems" get in the way of on-time success. Our informative "fast tracking" article series explains more:
Sign up for the ITtoolkit.com newsletter and be the first to know about our latest blog articles, templates, white papers, infographics, and special offers.
We won't overload your inbox and we don't share or sell subscriber information. Just enter your email address below.