Asking a team questions
Once you get a team of diverse opinions, backgrounds, and experiences -- but all people you can trust to give you honesty -- ask them questions.

The Best Steps to Develop Your Team

Ideally, it would be great to have an existing team of folks you have led well, respect you fully and would ultimately follow you forward, even if they didn’t completely agree with the direction of the team.

I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but I bet we have something in common: I bet your organization could stand to have more help. 

I work for a church – a church with several hundred attendees across three weekly worship services - and there is something we have never ever said in a Tuesday staff meeting: we have all the people we need. 

Consequentially, I spend a significant amount of time developing a team, to help me execute a vision that I’ve been given. 

The risk of not knowing how to develop your team means your organization can only move at your speed. That is not self-sustaining.   

Learn how to develop a team of people, so that you have help, more people can buy-in to where you’re going and, more importantly, the work goes on beyond any single individual. 

Develop the Goal 

What are we doing? 

Why are we doing it this way or differently from the past? 

If you are in leadership, if you are a leader, your responsibility to your organization is to push the team forward. 

Get rid of the “if it ain’t broke” mentality. 

Pray, ask colleagues, visit similarly sized organizations, talk to slightly to significantly successful organizations and more. Research best practices in your field. When I wanted to retool our praise team to improve it, I kept going to conferences where other praise team leaders did not have our same rehearsal schedule. I was rehearsing regularly, but getting mediocre results. Due to market research, I made our rehearsals less frequent, which yielded great results. Develop your goal(s) without reinventing the wheel. 

The Goal is The Goal 

For me, this is the case, whether I have an existing leadership team or if I’m going to find a new team of people to execute the goal. In either scenario, the goal is the goal. 

Ideally, it would be great to have an existing team of folks you have led well, respect you fully and would ultimately follow you forward, even if they didn’t completely agree with the direction of the team. 

Most of the time, though, you’ll have to do a little convincing. That’s OK! You don’t need people to agree with you all of the time, no matter what. What you need are people that will be open to change. They may not like it, they may seem initially resistant. All you can ask, though, is for people to remain open to the idea and the process. 

Ask Questions 

Once you get a team of diverse opinions, backgrounds, and experiences -- but all people you can trust to give you honesty -- ask them questions. 

How are things going? 

What are you hearing about the organization from others? 

Are you optimistic about our direction? 

What is working and what is not working? 

If you had the power. what changes would you make? 

Change can be – not always – easier to digest, if the assembled team sees the need for change. If several people can sit together and all agree we have to do something differently, then the change comes from the community, not just you. It will serve you well to have others see the needs for your organization whenever that is possible. 

Show Your Heart 

Why is this important to you? 

Why do you want to do this in the first place? 

What has been placed in your heart, that you want to share with others? 

Don’t make your vision so personal, that it seems like you want people to work for you. Do make it sincere, though, so your team knows that you care! 

Whatever the new thing is you are proposing, must be articulated from a place of genuineness. If your team doesn’t sense that it’s important to you, it simply won’t be important to them. Also demonstrate to them you are willing to work as hard and harder to make your dream a reality. 

Eat Dinner When It’s Cooked 

You’ve planned the meal and shopped for the groceries. You’re cooking the meal, and you’ve followed all the directions perfectly. You’ve turned on the oven to 350 degrees, and you’ve placed your uncooked food in there. 

Wouldn’t it be silly to eat before the food is fully cooked? 

So have an idea of when you want to implement the new initiative. Simultaneously, be aware that change takes as long as it has, to take for the result to be right. 

You may have the right idea for the right organization at the right time. But you may be seeking the desired results too quickly, which can end up sabotaging your own success. 

Move as fast as the most resistant person on your team. Make sure they understand each step, before you move past them. If you get a sense that they’re digging in their heels out of protest, that’s something different. If they want to be on the bus, though, and just need a greater comfort level, give it to them. 

TAGS: Leadership
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