Effective Team Leadership

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How to build teamwork and avoid conflict with coworkers

Apr 19, 2007 Joni Rose

Building an effective team requires a leader that is an expert communicator who supports team efforts every way possible. Learn some techniques to build a cohesive team.

If you are new to a leadership role or are finding that the team dynamics are askew, then you may need to look at some techniques to help build teamwork.

  1. Remove individual competition – competition can kill collaboration. If you want the team to work together, you need to not single out employees efforts and instead look at team performance and team metrics
  2. Delegate clearly – give clear instructions so there is no ambiguity on who is to do what and when.
  3. Define the reporting structure clearly – make it very clear who is in the lead position and who is accountable and for what.
  4. Create group incentives for excellence – to motivate the team even more, offer incentives that the group will receive.
  5. Clearly define expectations and what excellence looks like – this is a crucial step to team harmony. If your team does not understand clearly what excellence looks like to you, how will they ever attain it? You may have a very different idea than your team members about what you are striving towards.
  6. Provide ongoing professional development opportunities
  7. Give the team the power to make and implement decisions – empowering the team to contribute ideas and then take some risks and learn is an incredible team building moment.
  8. Deal with staff conflicts immediately – don’t let conflicts fester and grow into bigger conflicts. Deal with them as soon as possible and be consistent with your approach.
  9. Promote acceptance of a variety of points of view – differences in cultural backgrounds, ages, experience levels and educational levels, can influence the foundations used to make perceptions and judgements. Being open minded to these varying points of view should be encouraged.
  10. Encourage open, honest communication – Jack Welsh (Past CEO of GE) believes strongly in what he calls “candour” in the workplace. Jack believes that far too often we are afraid to admit the truth and this lack of honesty can be a huge cost to a business financially as well as decrease staff respect for management. Staff sees the reality of situations and expect upper management to be not only aware of the reality but be able to act quickly on any obvious problems.
  11. Make sure the basic resources are made available – it is hard to do a job without the necessary resources.
  12. Articulate a clear vision and a code of behaviour to get you there – if your vision isn’t clearly articulated, your team will not know how the steps they take today contribute to the big picture in the future. Your team needs to feel passionate about the work they do. If they see that their efforts contribute to a big picture, they can anticipate next steps.



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