Simple Team Building Concepts That Work


The team building concepts that helped build the best organizations in the world

Why do people get up and go to work?

Why do they endure the bleep-bleep-bleep of their alarm clock day after day, the cold floor on their feet, the blaring horns and stresses of rush hour traffic, and their thankless position at AnyCompany Inc.?

Is it because they are inspired by and love their job?

No, they endure it for their paycheck and the security of knowing that as long as they don't screw up, they'll still have that job next week and two years from now.

Does this scene inspire greatness? No. It inspires movies like Office Space and sitcoms like The Office.

Greatness is a matter of conscious choice. --Jim Collins

Are you encouraging or preventing teamwork in your business?

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Make Everyday Feel Like the Day You Met Your Best Friend

Remember that day in grade school when you met your best friend?

How you ran into the house and yelled to your mom so excitedly, "I met someone at school today!"

How did we feel back then when connections were much easier to make with other people? And what have we lost, now with those connections difficult to make in our everyday lives?

A lot of it has to do with us stuck in situations with a decreased need to make meaningful connections with others. We struggle with organizational apathy because our organizations broke apart like smashed panes of glass.

Leadership failed at it's core. Leaders must put people in situations to succeed, to make them connect with others, and not allow them to molder in their cubicle like some kind of lab rat.

Ideally, the team environment encourages people to make meaningful connection with their peers.

How can we insert the right people into the right situations so they make the right connections? In many situations people's attitudes and personalities don't immediately mesh. Members form resentments and then you have team dysfunction.

These hum-drum and combative attitudes promote exactly why team building "workshops" have turned into big business all over the corporate landscape and yet employee dissatisfaction raises to an all-time high in offices around the world.

Corporate bureaucracy and ineffective leadership crushes the souls of the people who manage to survive beneath it.

Teach your staff the practices and skills to participate within and run effective productive teams. 

Building Effective Teams

Don't Push the River

So what core team building concepts do you need to establish to drive an engaged environment of purposeful action, goal driven teamwork, and meaningful personal connections?

Maybe it sounds a little like asking "how do you push a river uphill?" But it's not, greatness can and should be achieved through determination to build the foundation of your team on bedrock rather than corporate jargon or team building slogans.

The three great foundational concepts of teamwork in business are:

  • Principles Determine Action
  • Expect Only the Best
  • Show You Care

These team building concepts are not new. In fact, they are as old as human's ability to organize and work toward a common purpose.

Each foundational concept plays off the other. If you account for the first concept Principles Determine Actions, the next flows naturally, like water from a spring.

Your core principles form the wellspring of the rest of your team building activities - build your team on a foundation of bedrock rather than sand.


The Tao of Teams

Build your team around your core principles and the next step in your team building concepts will fall naturally into place: Expect Only the Best.

If you build upon your core principles and account for all the stages of the team building process, then your team will consist of a well-oiled machine of achievers who can complete any task.

Expecting the Best means achieving goals. The Harvard business professor Robert Rosenthal calls this the "Pygmalion effect".

The "Pygmalion Effect" simply means that when you expect someone to succeed they probably will (the inverse is also true). Thus, as the leader of an organization, it does you far better to Expect Only the Best from your team because you probably will get it.

Like water flowing downstream, the next principle, Show You Care, we learn from human nature.

Most people resent being managed, so unless you want to feel resented, don't look over people's shoulders. Encourage your team by supporting their successes, rather than focusing on their faults.

By encouraging success, you set the bar for each individual's achievement. They know exactly what's expected. When you honor someone with a public "job well done" you encourage them toward loftier goals and increased team cohesion.

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Gemba Walk

Making Connections

Even though they are based on eons of time tested organizational psychology, these team building concepts seem intuitive and natural . Yet in the heat of battle, we often forget them.

Why is this?  Why do teams so often break down when the going gets a little rough? And what can you do to prevent it.

Your job is to understand these three core team building concepts:

  • Principles Determine Actions
  • Expect Only the Best
  • Show You Care

Do these three things while building your team and you will be farther along the path of success than 99% of your competitors.

These are simple lessons in the emotional intelligence business; yet the majority of team leaders do not followed them. The sooner you begin to apply these team building concepts to your own situation, the better the chances for your team to succeed

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