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  • Heidi Goettsch

Create Winning Teams

Remote, hybrid, in-person, any combination. We are all faced with it. So now what?! How do we get to know our team members in a genuine, caring and thoughtful way without burning the midnight oil to take care of business needs at the same time. It's top of mind for many leaders. Many organizations have remote teams that have never met each other in person, especially over the past 18 months.

Think about a team you've been on where you've been firing on all cylinders. Everyone is gelling. Collaboration is high. Egos are low. You are getting work done at an efficient pace. You hear AND listen to each other's ideas, you brainstorm to make each other better. It feels good. It gets noticed.

Does that remind you of a team you've been on? It's the dream of any leader to create teams like that, ones you can rely on without having to touch base on a regular basis. When working in the office, these teams could easily jump into a conference room to bounce ideas off each other. They would talk about their weekends in the hallway, they could keep a pulse on how each other are doing.

With a remote and hybrid world, that looks very different. The work and effort to be intentional about creating that environment many times falls on the manager. Guess what? We've never trained leaders to work in this way and quite often, aren't giving them the tools to be effective or the time to do it (on top of their already full workload).

I've been a part of teams virtually, hybrid and in-person. I've been a part of teams that were high performing, and not so high performing due to a variety of factors. The one consistent component of high-performing teams (virtual, hybrid and in-person) is a leader who is intentional and genuine, with their care and concern for their team, that creates an environment to foster good working relationships. They create trust and transparency on their teams. They worked hard to bring the team together in fun and creative ways. AND they empowered their team to contribute to that effort. It takes each of us.

Are you one of those leaders in a new territory to trying to pull together that high performing team? Or perhaps you are on a team struggling to gel and want to turn it around? Or perhaps want to level up your team? What fun and creative ways are you leveraging to bring your teams together? Here are a few ideas to get your creative mind working that I pulled together for a group recently. Perhaps they inspire you to bring your team together. Put your own spin on it. Think creative. Think fun!

  • Build Self-Awareness and Trust. Help the team get to know themselves and each other better. We host 1-hour or 2-hour virtual or in-person workshops, many of which can carry forward for continued dialog, if desired, based on your goals. These types of workshops create trust and transparency on the teams, creating more collaboration, communication and results.

  • Have fun together! Online trivia (including trivia about the team), Virtual Happy Hour, Speed Networking, Two Truths and a Lie as a group. Laughing is good medicine for any day, but especially those that are long. Bonus: you may get to learn more about your team members.

  • Learn together. Share books you are reading, articles you are coming across, book clubs, take a continuing education class together, work on a FUN project together that no one has ever done, have a creative strategic planning session together. This could get the creative side of the brain working if done in a way that empowers and engages.

  • Give back together. Collectively take time off to volunteer in your communities. Come back and share your experiences and pictures of what you did. This will enable team members to share their passion, fill their bucket and make a difference.

  • Show appreciation for each other. Simple cards of appreciation. Emails to let them know one great thing they did today. Team members building each other up. Recognition for demonstrating Core Values in your company. People will work harder for those that appreciate their efforts.

  • Communicate in new and different ways. Try out new communication platforms to share more personal things (not all work). Try Miro for collaboration. Try Slack for team building. Communication is more natural when trust is present on a team - focus on building that trust and then you can test out some new ways to communicate.

Building a team, and maintaining it, is hard work, and it takes each of us. We all have accountability to lean in and engage with the teams to build that high-performing team we want to be a part of. I encourage you to own it, and think of one creative idea you can take to your manager that you think would help build the dream team.

"Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much" ~ Helen Keller

"A group becomes a Team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of the others." ~Norman Shidle