I can sum up team building with just a few words, "Live life together."
Many times, as staff members of a church, we forget what church is about and we neglect living life together. If you want to build a strong team, here are a few things that I think are important related to team building.
Be intentional to walk your rooms and be around those that are working with or for you.
1. Know what’s going on in the lives of your team
In order to build an effective team, you must set aside time for getting to know your team. This seems easy, but it can be challenging. It’s more than just meeting with a team member. You need to pay attention to people’s body language, moods and facial expressions.
Many times, someone will communicate through body language that they are happy or sad. Social networking is a horrible spot to find out what is going on.
Typically, everything is happy on social networking. Be intentional to walk your rooms and be around those that are working with or for you.
Make eye contact.
Be sensitive to the stress level of the room and the reactions of people as they move through the event, day or service.
Listen when people talk to you. I struggle with this and have to make an effort to set down all the electronics and look people in the eyes when they are talking. If I don’t, I will miss the little nuances of the conversation. Of course, I will hear what they are saying and be able to regurgitate it back, but hearing someone and listening to them are two very different things.
2. Meet with your team leaders on a weekly basis
This is a must. Aim to meet with your team leaders each and every week. Making an effort for every week will probably hold you to two or three times a month.
If you only make an effort to meet once a month, when life has its bumps, you will never meet.
Once a month is not enough time to move the ball forward at work. It’s definitely not enough time to stay in tune with what’s going on in that person’s life.
3. Live life together and have fun
Probably the most critical part of building a team is the ability to have fun. Living life together doesn’t mean it will always be fun times. As a matter of fact, unless you make an effort to have fun in what you are doing, you won’t.
So make an effort to have fun.
You still have to get work done and I understand that, but you can do things in a way that lowers stress levels of the team. If you don’t panic, the team won’t panic. Are you someone who elevates stress in an environment or someone who decreases it? Having fun at your job doesn’t mean you are partying all the time or that you are doing things you want to do, it means you choose to have a good time.
As a leader, we can create opportunities for play time and work time. If it’s always high stress work, the first or second point won’t matter. The team will fall apart.
Team building is more than work ethic and putting together the right people. It’s about understanding relational capacity, knowing your team's emotions and seeing people’s strengths.
You may be the best player on the court, but you still need someone to pass to or you won’t make it down the court to score. If you don’t know the teammate you are passing to, you will not be effective or move the ball forward.
Know your team, work with your team, learn from your team, help your team and you will build a team with a strong foundation.