Teams are essential components of an organisation’s performance. They are formed to achieve a common objective by leveraging the combined skills and expertise of different individuals. When the team is aligned, its individual members are often motivated to exceed all expectations and deliver important benefits to the organisation. A misaligned team on the other hand can result in conflict, mistrust and low performance.
Leaders face even greater challenges today aligning teams that are increasingly located across geographies, come from different cultural backgrounds, and have to juggle conflicting priorities. Their role is essentially like that of an orchestra conductor, orchestrating the performance so that each orchestral section harmonises with the others and produces a cohesive sound. Each section relies on the conductor for guidance on tempo and volume and participation, for the conductor knows how to bring out each instrument to the greatest effect.
As the “conductor” in your organisation, you too need to bring out the best in your team members and keep your teams aligned with your corporate goals.
Know the players
You need to be able to understand your individual team members’ strengths and weaknesses so you can maximise their contribution to results. Understanding their personalities and their drives will go a long way to getting and maintaining their cooperation. Understand too that what motivates one person may not necessarily motivate another. Who is motivated by money, challenges, learning new skills, opportunities for advancement?
Treat your team members as people
Building great teams revolves around creating good relationships. That means treating your team members as people and not just as resources to use. To influence people to commit to a common goal they need to know how much you care, not just what you know.
Harmonise corporate and individual goals
Understanding what motivates individual members will help you build team harmony. When you can align a given task to an individual’s personal goals, you will have a loyal and highly motivated team member. Be authentic when obtaining their buy-in to your goal and make sure they win as well as you.