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Playing to Their Strengths
Shortstop, catcher, pitcher, mid-fielder. Each player in a game of baseball has strengths and skills which determine where in the game they’re best suited to help the team win. But without a winning strategy and a coach to lead the team to victory, even the sharpest-shooting team lacks the cohesion needed to bring their strengths together to secure a win.
While no self-respecting MLB team manager would make that kind of play, I see it happen all too often in the workplace. Executive leadership implements a game plan and gets management, human resources, and accounting team leads on board with the play-by-play course of action. Each department leader is invested in the outcome, but fail to communicate to their employees where they stand in the grand scheme of things.
Three Elements of Team Cohesion
In order for the executive leadership’s plan to achieve its objectives, all members of the team have got to work together as one unit to contribute.
These three elements will help you score a homerun with a team that is aligned and in-sync with your organization’s goals.
Make sure you dedicate time to check in with your staff. Strolling the office for a brief check-in, hosting regular staff meetings, and implementing a well-used open-door policy are some ways to help keep your team in close contact. The additional benefit of bringing staff together on a routine basis in weekly meetings offers opportunities to share best practices with one another they might have otherwise not have learned.
Keeping your team in close-contact makes communicating ideas and actions both big and small a natural topic of conversation. Your team will not have any idea how their work contributes to the larger plan unless you tell them! Take the time to explain your expectations, and delve into the mission, vision, and desired outcomes of their work. With this information under their belt, your staff will have a barometer by which to measure their performance and an end goal to strive toward together.
Touching base and keeping in close communication with your team is not enough. For true alignment to take root, a connection must be made between you and your staff. The reason a bunch of larger-than-life athletes listen to their coach is because they know their coach has got their best interest at heart—a game win. Be transparent with your staff and connect with them on a deeper level. A great way to achieve this is by explaining the why of the game plan. There may be metrics to strive towards, but what is the driving force of their role in the plan? As a leader, you can create team cohesion when everyone can share some part of what motivates the whole group.
Team alignment is key in getting your organization to move forward effectively and efficiently.
Adapted from Michael Hyatt’s “How to Sync Up Your Team for Success.”