For quickly growing companies, it can be especially difficult for new teams to adjust and start successfully collaborating. New personalities, unique backgrounds and individual perspectives can either compete with or complete each other. If you’re part of a brand-new team and want to create a solid foundation for success, here are seven helpful tips to get you there:
1. Lead with authenticity.
Experts at Concorde Investment Services know the power of authenticity well: “When we turn the lens toward our internal teams, authenticity helps employees avoid groupthink and have confidence in their final decisions,” shared experts from their team. “Each person at the table should feel like they have the power to be themselves and use their expertise to make the bold decisions that drive innovation and good business.”
2. Create shared goals.
Try to hold a goal-setting workshop with your team. Allow each member to identify ways to contribute to your team’s success. When we feel personal ownership over the desired outcomes, we are more likely to put in extra work to get there. Very rarely does the tactic of “ do what I say and how I want you to do it” help anyone.
The way you frame your goals also holds immense power. Shares Simon Sinek, “A significant part of feeling value beyond our compensation is working on something bigger than ourselves…Everyone has a vision or a mission statement. But we lack a standard definition of those terms, using the same words in different ways. This leads to more confusion than cohesion, both internally with our people and externally with our stakeholders.”
3. Learn each team member’s working style.
Some individuals are early birds, while others thrive in the late hours of the night. Some prefer quick DMs for communication, while others prefer email. In these scenarios, no one is right or wrong. It’s all a matter of preference. Learn about each team member’s working style and what environments help them succeed. Though we can’t always accommodate every request, this open conversation can help individuals collaborate better and play to each other’s strengths. For additional team building, consider completing personality trait quizzes with your colleagues to understand one another better.
4. Set clear communication standards.
Open and honest feedback is crucial for high-performing teams. But a wise leader will always live by this simple mantra: be hard on the problem and not the person. Disagreements are inevitable; we’re humans, after all! When team members are not meeting expectations, or you disagree with their approach, focus on the work at hand instead of attacking the individual. Often, you can solve these issues with clear communication and joint problem-solving.
5. Don’t force fun.
Allow relationships on your team to develop naturally. Though a team-building exercise can help from time to time, not everyone loves mandatory happy hours or games. In the beginning, your team’s relationship should hinge on the shared work. Over time, deeper connections will form and enhance your team’s cohesion.
6. Hold space for bad ideas.
Though this specific advice might scare you, it’s important to remember. Failing or making a mistake can be scary, but it’s often the best way to learn. You can build your team’s confidence faster if you foster an environment where people can safely try new ideas. In the beginning, celebrate both the wins and losses. When something doesn’t go as planned, encourage team members to learn what they shared with others—and then move on to the next project, armed with a better understanding.
7. Establish regular team check-ins.
Individual and team check-ins will be critical in the early days of your team. Feedback loops will help you understand what’s working and what’s not. If team members are too worried about being honest early on, you may have to set the example first. Vulnerability is a valuable yet often overlooked trait of many successful executives. Choose to share your successes and struggles; you’ll notice that others will feel more comfortable doing the same over time.