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Streamline Your Team PDF Print E-mail
Written by Cheri Swales   
Wednesday, 22 March 2006
Article lifted from

Milan, Indiana's rise to the 1954 state basketball championship inspired the 1986 movie Hoosiers, in which Gene Hackman plays Marvin Wood, coach of the fictitious Hickory High basketball team. Hoosier hysteria takes over as the little school beats the odds and upsets the big-city school in the final game.

The importance of teamwork is found when Wood says, "Five men functioning as one single unit." That simple statement is the epitome of teamwork, and it's just as true in the workplace as on the field.

Whether basketball or corporate politics, the fundamentals are:

* The team comes before any single player.

* Trust your team members because you must count on them.

* Team members must communicate clearly and consistently to other team members.

* Practice is critical.

* Never lose sight of each game's goal.

* Choose the best and most committed players for the team.

* Every player must give his all to do his very best in every game.

* After games, review what went right and wrong. Then make adjustments and do it better the next time.

Business-Team Thinking

The leader must create the environment, and the team will build on its own. To create the conditions for your teams to thrive, you must:

* Train your team members to understand how to be good team members with good communication skills.

* Provide your team with the resources it needs to generate ideas, solve problems and develop information.

* Help the team understand its purpose.

* Supply a good team leader to assist in guiding the team toward its purpose. Choose someone who can model trusting behaviors.

Reaching Success Together

"The word that has the greatest influence on a team's success is 'purpose,'" says Tom LaForce, a team consultant. Ask your team to answer these questions:

* What are we trying to accomplish?

* How will we know if we've succeeded?

* What's the impact of failure?

* Who is the team's customer?

Teams must set ground rules to reduce conflict, increase productivity and improve effectiveness, according to Bruce Tuckman's article "Five Stages of a Team," which appeared in the Psychological Bulletin. He wrote: "A team can make as many or as few ground rules as it thinks necessary. Typically teams end up with five to 10 rules. They should be developed as a group during the team's formation, and reviewed and updated periodically."

A team can solve problems and come up with new ideas faster than any one employee can. The key is in creating and nurturing your team to be the best.

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Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 September 2008 )
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