From sharing a common goal, common tasks to sharing a rapport of working together, a few jokes here and there, sometimes teasing a team member… all this and more goes on when teams are formed. Some members would like to keep the relationship very professional where as some others would like to meet after the office hours for a couple of drinks.
Managing the relationship sometimes gets tough for the managers, and they encounter various problems sometimes to such an extent that the coalition disrupts to the level of beyond revamp.
What can be done by Managers to create magical teams where the problems can be resolved before they erupt? How can it be handled in a way that the team does not plummet?
Emotional Intelligence-EQ: Yes, it has been a very popular topic of discussion in the recent years, but alas the patience level of our people in the organizations is taking a plunge and from destructive feedback, to hurling abuses, to less ratings we are doing all of it just to pull each other down. Where is the empathy factor? Bring it back, empathize with your team members and once the relationship starts to develop you will see the results.
Trust: Instill that confidence in them every time they are seeking any guidance on new projects, or experimenting with the ideas. As a manager your role is focused on the objectives of the team and how to accomplish them, for that building a sense of trust in each member is suggested. Give them constructive feedback, let them be involved in decision making and nurture them as family members at times. Investing time and effort to guide them will bring back desired results.
Recognition: Although recognition brings trust still we will discuss it as a separate point, make them feel good, praise them, review their performances, and say good things and the ball is in your court then. The team will reach the destination without many hurdles of relationship related issues. The confident team can bring better results than the stressed team; choice is yours! Which one would you want to choose?
Manager’s perception: Please understand this; your perception is not necessarily a reality, so do not bring in stereotypical thinking in between the relationship with your team. Do not perceive, as people may not like to be handled in a particular way. Individuals are unique and so are their problems and solutions.
Resolve their conflicts: Take them and their problems seriously, if some one comes with a conflict do not hesitate to ask questions, do not avoid thinking that it may get resolved on its own, sometimes smaller problems take time to get resolved as unique people carry different emotional baggages and their perceptions do not give them a chance to resolve those problems as they may have encountered a similar thing in the past and their beliefs are set. Identify the root of the issue without wasting any time and effort, just deal with the conflict with your maturity and experience.
Apart from these suggestions, managers can involve various team building and relationship building activities during work hours; it will not only help in creating a better team culture but also break the monotony of the work/project. The leader’s job is to bring creativity amongst the team members and make their relationship as healthy as possible to reach to the desired goals.
Some activities which can be used for relationship building are:
Trust walks: Make pairs in a team, and then one member can go blindfolded and the other partner can guide him/her without speaking, to the other end of the room with lots of hurdles(read objects like chair, dustbin etc). It makes it fun as well as creates a sense of trust amongst the team members.
Tell me a truth and a lie: Ask all the team members to write a truth and a lie about themselves on a piece of paper and ask others to guess which one is a lie and which one is a truth.
Jigsaw Puzzle: Divide the team in to two groups and give them a jigsaw puzzle to solve. The way they communicate, and work towards solving the given task, will reflect in their real life project.