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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Team Building is Leadership Training In Disguise


It's true and it is one of the most important trainings that Leaders must undertake.

Many leaders think of team building events as attitude adjusting interventions for their employees. They are hoping that activities like these would wake people up to the reality that they need to work as a team and that they embrace team player attitudes. What they often don't realize is that the team members will only learn and apply what they learn if the leaders apply their own learning.

I always make it clear to leaders who request for us to facilitate their team building program that 80% (maybe more?) of what needs to be learned in a team building program is for them. And that the leaders are the ones building the team not the facilitators. We are just there to guide the process. Leaders must take ownership of the process and take personal accountability for its success or failure. Here are a few things that leaders must learn through this program:

Know your team, understand the diversity that goes into your team and capitalize on it. By knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your team, you will know which roles to give and which tasks they will need help with.

Build trust. It is most crucial that the team members trust their leader.  By trust I mean, trust the leader enough to express themselves honestly, speak up when they have ideas and opinions and listen to what the Leader is saying because they trust that the leader has their (the team's) best interest in mind.

Learn to collaborate, cooperate and co-create. Leaders who are able to build enough confidence in themselves and their team must know that they don't have the monopoly on best ideas. They seek people's ideas and opinions, listen and consider them in decision making. They set goals with their team and co-create strategies so that people have buy-in and clarity on goals and strategies that lead to commitment in execution.

Following Through. This, I believe is the most powerful quality that a leader must have. You can have the best intentions, you can have the best ideas and you can say the nices, most inspiring things but if you can't follow through, you haven't arrived as a leader. My measurement of leadership effectiveness from those group's I facilitated team building for is the abilty of their leaders to sit down with the team after a team building workshop and start work on making all the commitments made a reality.

I have made it a point to sit down with leaders of teams before we hold team building workshops. If there are 10 department heads in a company-wide team building workshop, I will meet with them and explain to them how they can grow from this experience and also how others in the team will start to grow after the leaders take the lead.

Let me know if you want my help in learning how to build your own team.

3 comments:

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  3. An organization needs self-empowered leaders, who take ownership for their own and their Team's direction and vision. Leaders who dramatically impact team success. Regards, Team Leadsership Trainng

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