5 Lessons to Build a Team On!

When I started my first job as a manager I was very nervous.  I am sure most first-time managers are. I had a thousand questions going through my mind. This post is 5 lessons I would tell myself if I could give myself some advice.

  1. Cover your weaknesses – Lets face it. We all have strengths and weaknesses. The important thing to remember is that everyone does. Of course we should seek to improve ourselves, but that will only get us so far. But, I have found that if you surround yourself with people whose strengths make up for your weaknesses, then you can achieve the elusive synergy all teams seek. So, don’t think you are a super hero. Admit you don’t do everything well and share the load. You will be surprised with your results.
  2. Set goals – There are so many quotes out there about setting and reaching goals. All revolve around the simple fact that goals are necessary to grow. I prefer to set a couple of yearly goals for my team that are more directional for team growth. Also, we meet quarterly and create new goals for that period. I have found that far too often we set goals for ourselves and our team only to look at them once the yearly review comes around.  Looking at and reviewing them quarterly helps us to keep them fresh and also allows for modification if necessary. Remember, a goal should stretch those involved but should also be attainable. Nothing breaks an employee’s spirit more than an unrealistic goal.
  3. Never stop learning – As time goes by I find that the older I get and the more I learn, and the more I realize that there is so much more to learn. I miss the days when I was a teenager and knew it all. But seriously, your education should never stop when you attain a degree. There is always more to learn. Join a professional organization or visit a conference and see what’s out there. But more importantly, get involved in your profession. Just as we all have more to learn, we all have something to contribute.
  4. Keep your promises –  Above all, teams that produce great results all have high levels of trust. Knowing that your boss has your back and will follow through with promises means all the world to employees. It costs too much to let your team down. Dont make promises you can’t keep.
  5. Celebrate successes –  When you were younger and your little league team won a game, did you all just grab your gear and go home? No, you ran around and yelled your head off. Why? You accomplished something. Why then would you not celebrate your victories in the workforce? Take the victory lap, I find that my team and I enjoy sharing some nice pie or some frozen yogurt. Let your team know that what they did made a difference and you appreciate their hard work.

I hope these lessons help you form a better team. Let me know in the comments what lessons you have learned.

 

Steve leads the Learning & Professional Development team, with over a decade of Instructional Design and professional development experience in higher education at Northern Arizona University.

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