Building Teams

By: Bart Icles


When one hears the word team, an idea that comes into mind is working towards a common goal - and this is how we expect teams to function. It is important that the team does not stray from the objectives set to be achieved, but how do we ensure that the team still works as one? Team building programs have been formulated throughout the years to strengthen the bond among team members, and between team leaders and their members. Other than increasing cohesiveness, team building programs allow individuals within the team understand their roles better so they can have more coordinated actions towards the achievement of their objectives.
Absence of teamwork impairs productivity - this underscores the importance of team building. However, unless an organization is able to define what differentiates a team from a simple mass of people, and unless it is able to identify the elements in building a team, there is no way that it can work towards a collective goal.
Not all team objectives are easy to achieve. However, one cannot always have an adverse feeling towards team goals that seem impossible to accomplish. Challenging goals can be thought of as crossings which are avenues for people to know more about each other, identify similarities, and respect differences. As people develop more respect for differences, they are able to form stronger bonds with their team mates.
Teams do not grow simply because executives want to have a number of teams within the organization. An assembly of people who follow their own plans is not synonymous to a team. Teams are formed when individuals share the same goals. However, having the same goal is not enough. When a goal has been set but the team has no involvement in its formulation and delivery, the goal stays merely a goal and not a shared vision of a team.
Discipline and collaboration are essential in accomplishing team goals. The will to achieve must be present in teams. This will becomes stronger as team members exert collaborative effort in reaching team objections. A good team building program must include activities where individuals can apply discipline and collaboration.
Communication is another element that must be present in teams. There must be sharing of ideas among the members of a team. There might be many voices coming from a team but these voices must be of one heart. Team building programs often stress the importance of good communication in teams. Individuals remain as individuals even when they are in a group when communication is missing.
Executives and managers define the standards of performance and behavior in an organization - it makes sense to have team building start at this level. A solid and organized executive team influences employees to have the same disposition and outlook, making them achieve objectives as a team, and not just a mere group of people. And remember, team building is not a one time event - it is a continuous process.

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CMOE has been helping companies with teamwork in the work place and team building since 1978. Through team building training and other innovative business techniques CMOE has established themselves a leader in the business world. Visit www.cmoe.com for more information.

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