How do I Strengthen My Team Relationships?

To go fast, go alone but to go far, go together

Illustration by me

The article you are reading is the result of nearly five years of my work as a leader to many organizations. By applying the ways I tell you in this article, you will help your team rise to a new level of innovation and performance.

What is a team…?

A team is a small group of from five to eight people with complementary skills and common purpose. Small, because too many people will be ineffective. Every member of the team has different individuality and behavior.

T — Together, E — Everyone, A — Achieves, M — More

There are three essential defining features of a team (Wageman, Hackman, & Lehman, 2005).

  • First, the team has clear boundaries that distinguish members from non-members.
  • Second, members are inter-depending in working toward a common goal.
  • Third, teams are relatively stable entities, giving members the opportunity to learn how to work well together.

How do I Strengthen My Team Relationships…?

Managing a team is a complicated task. You need to motivate them through recognition and rewards, provide feedback, and ensure that their skills are up to date.

Make sure that the goals are meaningful…

Goals help the team stay focused on what is important and keep everyone moving in the same direction. Set goals with your team members, not for them.

Keep the number of goals between three and five because it's enough to be meaningful but not too many that will overwhelm. These goals should be SMART (Conzemius & O’Neill, 2011).

  • Specific: What will be accomplished?
  • Measurable: How will success be measured?
  • Achievable: Is the goal realistic?
  • Relevant: Does the goal move the organization forward?
  • Time-bound: When does the goal need to be accomplished?

Try to make one of the goals personal and specific to the member, such as completing a course of study, taking a class, something that will encourage lifelong learning.

Worklife balance…

Over the last couple of years, I found that stability in the lives of the project team’s members helps hugely to run a project smoothly.

  • Be as flexible as possible about time off so that employees can take care of issues in their personal lives.
  • Helping a project team member to get on track in his/her personal life is very making happy.

Mitigating stress…

You must identify and deal with a team member’s stress level. There are some simple ideas that have been successful in mitigating stress but still keeping productivity high.

  • Encourage your employees to take breaks during the day, take time to exercise.
  • Remind people about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.
  • To keep them motivated during stressful periods, let recognize and reward your employees’ accomplishments.