The key to building strong teams is good communication.
You know by now that communication skills are of the utmost importance in professional settings. Effective communication facilitates teamwork, promotes productivity, and creates a good working environment. Poor communication results in dysfunctional teams, toxic work environments, decreased productivity and overall dissatisfaction at work.
But good communication is also what permits us to create highly-effective, highly-functioning teams. And why’s that? Well I was hoping you’d ask because that’s what we’re Explearning today.
Let’s get to it.
As a manager or as someone who is tasked with bringing a group of people together to make a team, you need to know who to choose to be on that team. More than that, you need to know who will serve what role on the team.
Let’s put it this way. How does a football coach know who’s going to be Center, Offensive guard, Quarterback, Running back, Wide receiver, and Defensive tackle? By knowing their strengths and their weaknesses.
In a similar way, a manager needs to know each team member's strengths and weaknesses so they too can make informed decisions about what roles to task them with.
Learning team members’ strengths and weaknesses comes down to good communication. Having an open dialogue with them, understanding their interests and skills, being aware of their needs, and keeping that communication channel open is the way.
So the first step is to talk to them. Asking them the right questions is how you’ll learn about them. Tailor your questions to the needs of the role. Be as specific as you can.
Ask them how they perform in their current roles as well as how they’ve performed in previous roles. Get a sense of what they’re excited to work on by asking pointed questions. You can ascertain how they view their performance by how they communicate about their work. What are they confident about speaking of? What are they less sure of with regard to specific projects or when speaking about certain skill sets. You can gauge a great deal from engaging them in conversations by asking the right questions and showing interest
Look at evaluations that can provide insight into this. Also, pay attention to how they’ve been performing in roles that they’ve had, or current roles.
How do they respond to feedback? The way they respond to feedback will give you information on how they feel about their role but also their performance. And there are valuable insights you can gauge from that.
Once you’ve done your due diligence, you can select team members suitable to the project at hand. And going a step further, you can decide on how to match the individual to the specific role.
To recap, talk to your coworkers about their skill sets, performance, and professional interests. Ask pointed questions to gauge their level of competence in certain roles. Pay particular attention to their performance, and examine how receptive they are to feedback. By doing so, you’ll have good insights into team members and how to build strong teams.
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