8 Little Known Secrets to Winning Teamwork
Do it alone to go fast. Do it with team a and you’ll go far!
Do something by yourself and you’ll go fast. Do it with teamwork and you’ll go far! As a solopreneur I have experienced both sides of the coin.
By inviting other people to play in your game you’ll be able to create something you never would’ve been able to do alone. Yes, it make take longer but you most definitely will be able to do bigger and grander things than if you did them alone.
When I first began building a winning team, there are many things I had to learn the hard way. Through trial-and-error, I experienced burnt bridges, and many failures and successes. Over the years I found numerous little known secrets that I didn’t read in a book but learned through the school of hard knocks.
1) Well Planned
Before making one contact, make sure all your ducks are in a row. If it’s your idea, business, or project, it’s up to you to make sure to make sure everything is in place to achieve the following points below.
You can plan with other people, but before you even invite others to join in this process there is some planning you’ll have to do to communicate your objectives clearly.
I started Authorpreneur Academy which was in the planning phase for over six months before I even introduced one person to the team. With all that planning and prep work, I have a 100% success rate of asking people to be a part of the idea.
As of right now, Authorpreneur Academy is very exclusive. To become an authorpreneur with us, it’s invite only or by completing the application and an extensive interview. To emphasize the planning, the business won’t officially launch until May 2018. That’ll end up being over 12 months of planning.
2) Clear, Concise, & Consistent Communication
To optimize any teamwork, leave no room for questions. To know if your communications are clear and concise, see if they pass the “7 year old test.” Find a 5–7 year old child and test your communication process on them. If they can’t follow, most adults won’t follow.
Whether it’s personal one-on-one contact or mass emailing, be consistent and on top of things. You’re the leader! Act like it. Don’t feel like you’re bothering them. Majority of people need their hand held and constant reminders to do what they committed too.
Because we’re in the technological age where emailing and texting makes life quicker, the message may get lost in translation. Verbal communication is vital. Use your phone and make individual phone or Skype calls to deliver messages. With each conversation, you can control the end result of them knowing exactly what to do!
There are many workflow systems to use. To know which one works best for you and your team, that falls into the planning and communication phase. The different free workflow software I’ve used in the past are:
By using FreeConferenceCall.com I am able to have many teammates on the phone at once to coordinate whatever needs attention at that time. By going over everything together verbally as a team, it makes those free workflow systems that much more powerful.
To make coordination work, I personally found that it relies completely on planning and clear communications. If you half ass one of those, you’ll experience in this part.
4) Monitoring Objectives
As a leader, you must be organized with systems and checks & balances to monitor the project as a whole. Even though I mentioned the previous workflow systems above, I keep track of everything with a pen and paper. Sometimes I use my whiteboards.
To effectively monitor the progress of your team completing each objective, you first need to know the sequence and the deadlines for each.
Know who is doing what to be completed by when. However you do this, do it well. If you as the leader fall short, your team will fall short. The team is only as good as the leader.
Thankfully I don’t know how to do everything. With the things I do know how to do I offer my advice, mentorship, and even do screen recordings for future reference.
I’ve learned the hard way that when someone asks how to do something, don’t respond with “figure it out” unless you know that individual will thrive with that response. For years I worked for a property developer and I learned quickly to not ask questions on how to do something because he knew I thrived on being able to figure it out.
Instead of leaving them to hang out to dry, support them with training. Whether you outsource the training, have another team member train, or even send them credible YouTube videos, you’re giving them the tools to succeed with little to no stress.
Within you planning phase, you should already be prepared to handle this in every situation!
When in group calls or one-on-one meetings, I ask them questions based on our last contact. If someone tells me they’ll do XYZ, I followup with them asking them about their progress on it.
Years ago I was organizing a fundraiser and had a team of volunteers. One person on the team was a grade school friend who seemed to be very passionate about the cause. On our weekly calls he gave outstanding updates on his progress. Days before the event he disappeared and when I contacted those he referred to, no one heard of him. He lied the entire time.
I mention this because I did my best to hold him accountable to the end result he promised but people can do people things; lie and then disappear. Some people aren’t into teamwork.
Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want them to when working with others. As the leader, it’s 100% your responsibility to make everything happen.
7) Healthy Competition
Capitalism proves competition brings the greatest innovation. Everyone is creative when you create the environment for them to aspire to greater heights.
Teamwork can thrive with competition which can be very simple or complex. Either way, making it “healthy” is vital to longterm success and low turnover rate.
With a sales team I’m developing right now one thing that we’re experimenting with is that whichever sales person has made the most sales that month, they also earn a commission on all the online sales too.
At a business lunch & learn I went to years ago, the speaker whose name I can’t remember mentioned she played a game to increase teamwork competition. Have you ever played The Dot Game? Any time a team member achieved a little goal like securing a meeting or making a sale, that gave them the opportunity to make a line on the dot board. The team who wins the game got a bonus.
8) Asking Questions
John C. Maxwell wrote a book entitled, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions. If you put a team together, you’re a leader. If you were ask to join someone’s team, you’re your own leader. Quality teamwork means there’s open communication and a comfortable environment for wisdom sharing.
When you ask your team questions, they feel as though they’re a part of it rather than just being a minion. Dr. Stephen Covey recommends to give people a voice in the company/project in his book The 8th Habit.
The questions you should ask as a leader revolve around being a servant leader. Serve your team. As a leader, it’s your job to serve each team member to make their job easier by sharing knowledge and eliminating the barriers they encounter.
John C. Maxwell and his employees say the best question he asks is, “how can I help?” This is only one question but I personally found that it’s so powerful.
Don’t forget to ask questions to learn about them personally. Learn about their family, their challenges, what motivates them, their wants/needs/desires. When you understand each person, you can be more understanding and effective at the same time.
Come up with an idea to turn into reality. It can be big like mine where you’ll spend a year in the planning phase with 1–2 people. Or you can do something that will take a week from start to finish. Once you come up with an idea, build a team to make it happen.