Leadership – Team Building

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Leadership is the process of leading individuals while motivating/inspiring them through example to achieve the vision. Today, leadership in the organizational perspective extends much beyond than inspiring and motivating people.

In today’s competitive environment when organizations are faced with cut throat competition leaders have to make sure that their focus in not only on the present but also on the future. Similarly, organizational leaders in the present scenario have to counter several challenges and manage various fronts.

Let’s take a look into the various areas leaders are entrusted with

Team Building

Team building should not be confused with team training. Team building is an umbrella term for activities that are aimed at enhancing social relations between team members. While team building seeks to improve the interpersonal relations between the team members, team training seeks to improve efficiency.

Team building also seeks to layout and defines roles within teams especially in lieu of the collaborative tasks. The formal definition of team building includes building of effective working relationships between team members and working towards reduction in role ambiguity between the team members.

The Benefits of Team Building

·        Transforms Individuals into One Team

Team building results in transforming individuals into a team.

·        Enhanced Team Relationships

Team building activities result in enhanced team members relationships. This means that the friction between the team members is minimized in fact eliminated to boost performance.

·        Boosts Productivity

Since roles are clearly defined and any friction or differences between the team members are resolved the result is enhanced productivity.

Approaches to Team Building

Eduardo Salas in his book suggested 4 approaches to team building. Let’s take a look into these 4 approaches one by one

·        Goal Settings

This emphasizes the need to set

  • clear objectives
  • “Individual” and “team” goals

This also suggests involving team members in action planning through which they can identify ways to define both success and failure and thus achieve goals. The purpose behind this is to instill a sense of ownership and motivate the team members

·        Role Clarification

This emphasizes working towards enhancing the team members understanding of not only their own but also other’s roles and duties as a member of the team. This is aimed at reducing any vagueness and ambiguity in the roles and duties of the team members

·        Problem Solving

This emphasizes on the importance of identification of the task related problems that may exist within the team. Once the problem is identified it suggests the team members to work together to find a solution.

·        Interpersonal Relationship

This emphasizes on the interpersonal relationships such as giving and receiving support, sharing and communication within the group. It suggests that teams which have fewer interpersonal conflicts have enhanced productivity and achieve more.

Challenges/Impediments in Team Building

Some of the impediments in team building are

·        Ambiguity in Roles and Duties

Ambiguity in roles and duties of team members can prove to be the major impediment in team building

·        Lack of Communication

Lack of communication is another impediment to team building.

·        Poor Conflict Management

Poor conflict management is another impediment to team building.

·        Failure to Identify/ Address/Resolve Team Member Concerns/Reservations

Failure to identify, address and resolve the concerns and reservations of the team members can also result in individuals transforming into a team thereby failing to deliver the optimum results.

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