One of the most vital strengths of a leader is the ability to not only create a team, but to keep ahead of its evolvement.
Why is team development so important?
To avoid you skipping over this portion, or worse reading through the words on auto-pilot while actually thinking of what you need to grab at the grocery store tonight, I have drawn a diagram:
So whatever your team: friends, staff, family, sister wives, sports, this is viable to you.
3 Tips to Create Cohesion:
Come to them:
My first sales team was a bunch of broke college students their interests being a blend of music and games. After a few lapses in communication I had a emergency mandatory meeting at my home on a Sunday evening. With a face of earnest they signed the acknowledgment sheet one by one. And when they arrived at my home I had hand crafted snacks from my kitchen, sodas, and Rock Band blaring on the television.
After about an hour of playing I sat them down to talk. As a team they had to choose their instrument (their personal strength), and using that instrument they created higher scores on the screen. Their communication was rhythm, their end goal was scoring. They practiced to improve themselves and in the end improving the team. I asked them for their personal strengths in the shop. I asked them how they utilize these strengths, and how they could utilize one another’s strengths. We discussed our end goals as a team, and discussed better discourse to achieve those together.
Get Out of the Mundane:
In a slow shop sometimes it is difficult to really find the opportunity to shine our strength
as a team. And over time our shine wears off, and we stop really trying. It’s a sneaky thing demotivation. One of my last team struggles was just that. It was September in Houston, one of the slowest months of the year. It’s a time in retail of grueling late hours for inventory, and grueling day hours of continuously unachieved goals. This terrible month also just happens to be my birthday month.
There was no fighting, there was no playing, there was not allot of anything happening with my team. So feeling a little bit adventurous I pulled up the third row of seats in my Suzuki on a day most of my staff would be off, and I picked each one up. We drove into the Galleria Area, singing 90’s pop songs at the top of our lungs. In the galleria we visited high level shops around the mall, we observed different merchandising and customer service tactics in the mall. We ate Ninfa’s fajitas in the food court. We wandered Hermann Park after dark.
Stepping out together, and finally sharing a positive experience created for a completely rejuvenated team into the holidays.
Asking the Right Questions:Considering the high turnover in the retail world I found myself having to practice this team building process at least twice sometimes three times a year. Definitely something to consider annually.