Creating a team that delivers Results is very tricky but there are steps that you can employ to guarantee consistent results delivery as a team.
the main strategies are;
- How to ‘partner’ or collaborate with key team members and stakeholders to ensure a sharedownership of results.
- How to communicate and listen with and to our teams to efficiently deliver.
- The concept of ‘Ubuntu’ is to ensure that we are using these key skills to provide voice and dignity for our employees and stakeholders as we aim for excellence.
Skill 1 | Partnering
Partnering in a team is a critical skill that will help ensure a collaborative environment that encourages members to contribute and shine.
- Partnering to manage people is where you seek to collaborate and combine the efforts and talents of individuals towards a common goal.
- Rather than having you as the manager act as command and control, through partnership you share ownership of the goal with the team and ensure they are committed to the result.
- Partnering requires that you make choices on whom to partner with.
- As a starting point, work with your employees, team, or key stakeholders to energise them, and get them on board!
- Use a friendship strategy when developing your partnerships.
- The friendship strategy encourages you to agree as equals on the objective, task or project to be delivered and then agree on the basics of how collaboration will work.
- What will the objectives be, what will the key roles be and what are the tasks and timelines for each role?
If you can agree with these core components as partners, you are far more likely to have an engaged and committed team than if you dictate the objectives and roles from the top down!
- Pick an upcoming one-on-one or team meeting to partner with an employee/stakeholder or your employees/team members during which time you will begin to practice partnering.
- Your objective is to find ways to collaborate with or combine efforts to achieve a mutually desired objective.
- Prepare for practising by:
- Thinking through with whom you would want to partner,
- Outlining why you want to partner with him/her/them
- What will the objective be?
- What will be the key roles?
- What are the tasks and timelines for each role?
- Write the steps of how you will partner
• Implement your written steps by partnering as you’ve outlined.
Skill 2 | Listening
Listening for results is your ability to hear, pay attention to, understand and make employees and stakeholders feel heard.
This is critical to maintaining an engaged team, and has 2 key elements;
1. Listening inattentively to make someone feel heard as you would to your beloved 3-year-old: you listen without trying to follow the correct details and logic.
2. Listening attentively in order to understand reason like you would to an employee who wishes to resign and whom you wish to retain.
It is critical to know when to apply the two types of listening; I have found it best to listen to understand at the beginning and the end of one-on-one meetings, team meetings, and objectives setting process, team formation and project initiation.
Listening allows you to implement and benefit from the friendship strategy as it allows you to understand what your friends want from the partnership and makes them feel heard and understood by you.
• Pick the employee, stakeholder or team you want to practice listening to.
• Decide what type of listening will be most effective with your selected person or team.
• Choose when to listen and practice listening
Skill 3| Communication
Whereas partnering and listening are critical skills in a well-functioning team, good communication is also vital. Communication is the ability to create clarity and understanding of the desired results and approach to achieving them within your team.
- Ineffective communication creates or contributes to most of the interpersonal dynamics that derail or destroy teams and diminish their ability to deliver desired results.
- We should therefore make sure we are communicating effectively. We must recognize that communication is an event and communicating is a process.
- Making an announcement about a change initiative is communication.
- Creating a campaign and using multiple methods over a period of time to ensure that employees are clear about a change and why it’s necessary is communicating.
- Effective communication, therefore, requires a process of implementing a campaign instead of just one or two communication events such as announcements.
- Finally, don’t over-rely on words to communicate. Graphics, stories, metaphors and videos, improve effectiveness and help to make messages clearer and better understood.
- Using these tips will help you to make sure that your team has understood the mission and can get behind the efforts to achieve it without any confusion or mixed messages.
• Pick the subject or change you wish to communicate for example say you want to communicate the team strategy in tackling a certain issue.
• Create the campaign and collateral you will use to communicate.
• Use graphics, stories, metaphors and videos in your communication.
• Launch and implement your campaign.
• How effective was the communication? Have the team members internalise and appreciated your communication.
• Continue to do this for any communication that you want to share with your team.
The concept of Ubuntu means that we as managers accept that we can’t deliver results without our team or employees i.e. “I am because you are”.
Ubuntu emphasizes how important it is to work collaboratively with our teams. According to the principles of Ubuntu, we need to provide voice and dignity for our employees and stakeholders.
Partnering, Listening and Communication all practically honour the wisdom of giving people voice and dignity.