Teamwork can be a source of great creativity and productivity, if approached and handled in the right way. If the wrong track is taken, though, conflict and collusion can result, with the team members going round in circles and failing to produce the desired result.

In order to come up with something amazing – or at least serviceable – teams need to take an ‘inside out’ approach. That means ensuring that the internal workings and dynamics of the team are as they should be, so that what’s created for external consumption is as good as possible.

A top-down approach

Key to any collaborative, productive environment is a leader who knows what’s what.

Straddling approachability and authority is something many executives and team managers struggle with. Of course, they want to ensure maximum momentum and productivity – this is best done by establishing a positive dynamic that still maintains a sense of ‘ranking’ where necessary.

It takes a while for any leader to establish their personal style. Whatever that is, execs should be sure to learn the generic ropes before they put their individual spin on things. Undertaking leadership training, consulting, development and coaching in Sydney will ensure that the basic principles of team leadership – some of which are discussed elsewhere in this article – are understood.

On the same page

team-relationsEven with the best manager on the block, a team must also be reasonably self-sufficient in order to produce the best results. A culture of positivity, open communication and constructive criticism gives rise to the best work.

Out-of-whack teams are often pretty similar. Certain roles tend to arise, time and time again, that can halt momentum and provoke personal chagrin. These include the annoying joker, the attention seeker, and the over-zealous critic.

Certain personalities will be naturally inclined towards these roles. By recognizing this propensity, though, the likelihood of conflict can be decreased. Corporate training, consulting, development and coaching in Sydney helps teams – particularly at the beginning of a project – to work well together.

Team Bonding

Job Inspirations has written about this before. Basically, enjoy some books together and enjoy some Beyoncé together. You’ll be fine.

KPIs and Role Delineation

All team members – from the coffee-fetching intern to the corporate overlord – need to know where their responsibilities lie, and just how they’re expected to perform. Making this clear by delineating roles is certainly the role of managers. Courses offered by the likes of People For Success will teach higher-ups just how to make these expectations clear.

Teamwork needs to mix collaboration with role delineation. A ‘divide and conquer’ strategy will help to avoid unnecessary role crossover, though it’s important that collaborative sessions still occur. KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, will help to keep everyone in sync, with clear, quantifiable targets applying to the team as a whole, as well as its individual members.

Problems

Almost without fail, group work gives rise to some form of conflict or tension. These problems should, wherever possible, be confronted head-on and immediately. Skirting around issues only allows them to fester.

Managers should try to implement an ‘open forum’ policy – if people are having issues they should feel comfortable raising them within the team environment, rather than speaking one-on-one, generating imbalances and a culture of gossip. Of course, this doesn’t apply to serious complaints like workplace bullying or sexual harassment allegations.

When it comes to group work, there’s a fine line between professional harmony and disruptive friendships; between open communication and ruthless criticism; between defined roles and a lack of collaboration. Where that line lies might vary, to an extent, from one group to the next. Intuition, then, has to play a role.

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