Secret Ingredient To Creating Happy And Healthy Team Dynamics
If you put people with high power together, it’s a clash of egos like no other. They are busier maintaining power than in making good decisions - Greer
Business means working in groups. When people work in groups, different and distinctive personalities emerge. Based on these personalities, the group members take on roles and behave accordingly. This is known as “group dynamics”. A team is a group of people working together so the same dynamics apply to the team. The performance of a team is directly proportional to the team dynamics. Good dynamics will increase productivity and lead to good decision making and vice-versa. Every leader aspires to have a good team with him so the group can achieve to its highest potential.
Understanding Team Dynamics
Team dynamics are the undercurrents which influence the team’s behavior and performance. These are the unconscious forces which affect the decisions and working relationships in the office. They are most often psychological in nature and result in mental games within a team. These games can either work in your favor or against depending on the type of dynamics.
Taking Time Out - The Secret Ingredient
All work and no play makes Josh a dull boy. So true! It's not always about work.
Sometimes what you do away from work, as a team, counts even more that what you do in the office. General catching up over a few drinks or dinner/lunch goes a long way in building fruitful relationships. It helps you understand each other better. Similarly, you can have some element of fun at your workplace as well.
Work is not about a mundane routine that you have to follow. It can easily be a mix of celebrations, some fun team building exercises, exchanging views during downtime and having fun. These activities help in breaking down mental barriers and preconceived notions about each other and will result in better work being achieved by all.
Other Ways To Create Happy And Healthy Team Dynamics
1. Know Your Team - If you are the boss, you have to know your entire team. The excuse that my team is too big to remember their names does not work. It is not just the names that you need to remember, you have to remember the capacity they work in and their strengths and weaknesses. Identify the key players in your team and understand how they influence others.
Use your knowledge to guide and develop your team. Knowing your team is a big task and with a changing work environment, it makes it all the more important. If you understand all the individuals who are working under you it becomes easier to pre-empt problems and correct situations before too much damage is done.
2. Trust Them - You know your team but that is not sufficient. You have to know them well enough to trust them. Give them a chance to prove their worth. Don’t jump the gun and interfere constantly. Trust is a two-way road, only if you trust your employees will they trust you back. Doubting and undermining each others authority is no way to build good faith and respect. Own Your Work - The work assigned to you is your responsibility. Do it well and own it.
As the owner, it is not necessary that you will always be right. You too shall make mistakes and learn from them. Own your mistakes and pass down the learning. When you do that others will automatically follow suit. It also builds the best work culture. When employees own their work it gets done to the best of their ability. They do it happily and timely.
3. Focused Communication - Communication is the biggest culprit in spoiling team dynamics. Many times it is taken for granted that everyone has understood what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. The problem here is that no two people think alike and that is why your communication needs to be precise and to the point. If it's written its even better. Beating around the bush will create further confusion only.
You will not be able to pin responsibility and the employees shall keep on passing the ball to the other person’s court. Nothing gets resolved and a lot of time gets wasted. Focused communication will ensure that all the little details that matter gets captured and communicated to the right people in the right manner. It also ensures that there are no assumptions, just specifications.
4. Tackle Problems Head On - Being an escapist is no way to do business. Facing challenging situations and overcoming the hardships makes a company successful. In order to do that you have to take the bull by the horns. Tackle each problem as it arises and move ahead.
Problem-solving skills need to be inculcated in one and all so that no one person is overwhelmed with critical decision making. Similarly, if one person on the team is creating problems, take a stand to resolve it.
The idea is not to insult or demean a person but to ask them to correct their attitude so that the rest of the team is not affected. Challenge authority because corrective action is required not because you think you are right and others aren't.
5. Divide Work Proportionally - You cannot burden one person with a lot of work even if he is most qualified to do it. Work should always be divided equally amongst all the team players. This makes them feel equally valuable. Pinpointing one person as the best will just spoil the team dynamics and hamper your chances of growth.
You can do team building exercises to understand the existing dynamics of your team and to build their hierarchical structure. This will also help to allocate the most suitable jobs for each member. Equal work will give them the same amount of free time and nobody will feel stressed.
6. Give and Take Feedback - Lead by example. If you want to give feedback be receptive to receiving it also. Instead of giving negative feedback, learn to give constructive feedback. This way any feedback becomes a welcome opportunity for introducing change. This is also the right time to share best practices. The key takeaways from the feedback can be used as learning for the entire team. It is all up to you to build an environment in the office where people don’t frown upon feedback.
The Secret of Success
The secret of success is hard work and happy employees. There are no shortcuts. Happy and healthy team dynamics are essential to the growth of your business. Working as a team, you will see that your team consists of various personalities like an aggressor, a negator, some withdrawer’s and a few recognition seekers. Together these people form a forward moving force giving direction to all activities which help achieve common goals. It is necessary to break down barriers so that each can pull their weight accordingly and lead to happy and healthy team dynamics.