Coach’s Corner: 5 Ways to Bond Your Team

If you lead a team, a critical point is how to bond your team in a better, closer way. Here are some ideas on how to bond your team together.

Eat together.

There is a reason that the experts in family studies strongly recommend that families eat together. There is a profound effect on people when they break bread together. It’s different being around the dinner table than it is around the conference table. It’s just one of those times where everyone is equal around the table. Some of the best memories families and groups can create is around the table. You get to see and hear people for what they really are.

What’s even better is when you don’t put a narrow time limit on the meal. People who don’t talk much will open up about themselves around the table, as long as they feel like they can be honest and candid with others. You’ll find that a greater amount of trust is generated around a meal when everyone is treated well and with respect. If you do it on a regular basis, you’ll find that the trust will grow and the relationships will become stronger.

Allow your team to face crises together.

There is a reason why the military forces, especially the Marines, put their recruits through crisis situations. It creates a bond in a real way. Instead of being focused on themselves, the individuals within a team are forced to come together and to trust each other. The same is true of individuals who go through a highly challenging situation. A plane crash or a natural disaster also brings people together. You’ll find that these situations will create a unique bond that is strong among those who were involved.

Although you may not be able to have your team go through a major crisis, you can create an environment where the challenges are significant and the team will need to be challenged to meet the goals and objectives you set for them. When the goal is beyond what the team thinks it can reach, you will most likely find that your team will try to reach it anyways – and then they’ll meet it. After they meet the goal, it will bond them together.

Recognize the strengths in your team members and allow them to exercise them in healthy opportunities.

Work hard to find the strengths within your team. If you position people where they can provide outstanding qualities and skills to the team, you’ll find that people will respect the team even more. When everyone is positioned well and members are able to give their best results and effort, the trust grows within the team to a high level. Let people know that you want to put them into the best situation and then prove your sincerity by doing it, the team will become even stronger. Spend some time talking to your team members and find out what motivates them. Spend some money on personality assessments and you’ll get even more insights on where people fit best. You’ll find that this effort will pay for itself very quickly with a strong results for years to come.

Allow team members the opportunity to lead in their areas of strength and expertise.

When you find out where your team members are best positioned, you’ll find that your team members will also be positioned to lead in particular areas. Commit to let people lead where they are better and stronger than the rest of the team. That may include the opportunity for you to step back and to allow a team member to lead you and the team. If you craft clearly defined expectations and boundaries, you will most likely find great success. When you allow your team members to lead, the level of trust and respect will rise.  Not only the ones entrusted to do the work, but other members will see your level of trust. When you choose to trust your team, your team will trust you. Find those areas where you can trust your team and the results will improve.

Praise team members in success and encourage them in failure.

Allowing your team to take calculated risks will provide your team a higher level of success. However, there is always the possibilities of failure. Prepare for the possibilities beforehand. Don’t punish team members for failing. Praise team members for the effort, whether they are successful or not. When a team finds out they can take calculated risks to increase the effectiveness and profitability of the team, you’ll find that they will come together to help each other.

It’s important to recognize the successful results when they happen.  They encourage team members to keep going and to keep trying new ideas. When team members fail – and it will eventually happen – don’t condemn people and their actions. Instead, ask what they learned in the process.  Encourage them to keep trying and keep improving. As Zig Ziglar used to say, “Failure is an event, not a person.” Let people know that they’re in a safe place within the team.

What works for you with your team?

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