Members of a team riding their bikes on a beach

Building Effective Teams

Being a leader does not mean doing everything yourself. Effective leaders understand that delegating tasks can make them more effective. Sometimes tasks can be delegated to an individual, but other projects require the attention of a team. Team building skills are a critical facet of leadership. When teammates collaborate effectively, they can tackle seemingly insurmountable problems with ease. But when team members have clashing ideas, attitudes, or motivations, their team leader may wish she had just completed the project herself.

The OpenSesame course catalogue has 100+ team building courses to choose from, all with their own angles and instructional styles. Below, we’ve distilled the core teachings of our courses into 5 key tips to get you started building productive and happy ‘dream teams’.

Focus on Inspiring Trust. It’s important to create a rules, policies and standards with your team that are ethical. However, this cannot be an empty gesture on the part of the team leader. It is your responsibility to inspire trust amongst your team members by demonstrating that you are a trustworthy colleague. Do this by delivering on your promises everyday – as a manager, an employee, etc.

State Expectations Clearly. As the executive leader of the team it is your responsibility to clearly communicate team expectations. This includes identifying team goals, agreeing on reasonable deadlines for tasks, and discussing team progress and challenges during weekly check-ins. No team can function effectively without direction, so providing clear guidance is a must for building effective teams.

Acknowledge Wins and Successes. When the team accomplishes a challenging task, or becomes noticeably more productive, it is important that you recognize their achievements. Express your acknowledgement enthusiastically and give credit to the whole group. Singling out a single team member in a group setting may seem like a good thing to do, but this may make the rest of the team may feel resentful and underappreciated. Try to keep the target of praise general, while pointing out specific accomplishments that you appreciate.

Promote the Value of Team Cohesiveness. Think strategically about the personality types you’re bringing together to work as a team. Attempt to balance individual traits to create an optimal blend of introverts and extroverts, big picture and detail oriented thinkers, etc. Doing so will help you build a team where everyone plays a valuable role in progressing team goals.

Motivate and Inspire Team Members. Even the best teams feel run down sometimes. Help your team work through a difficult problem or an internal conflict by testing ways to inspire and motivate them. Share a motivational video, bring their attention to positive team metrics, or simply take them out for a nice lunch once and awhile. When you inspire the team through motivating them to stay productive, have fun and bond with one another, the team will work more effectively.

Once you understand these strategies and how to apply them to building effective teams, you will be able to apply them to everyday team encounters – whether you’re the head of your soccer team or CEO of your own company. Our favorite team building courses from the OpenSesame marketplace include Continuously Improving Team Processes, Acting Effectively On A Team, Designing and Managing Effective Teams. Click here to view our full catalogue listing for Team Building.