Teams must have a strong portfolio of multiple interpersonal skills to create and maintain a healthy workplace culture.
When we think of team-building and training, memories of raft-making on muddy river banks may spring to mind. Fortunately that’s not how we approach team development at Holst. Let’s look at workplace skills training that actually benefits team performance and strengthens your workplace culture.
- Team Creativity
- Team Communication
- Team Effectiveness
- Team EQ, Resilience and Motivation
All teams, even the most process driven, need to have creativity and innovation skills. Sometimes established rules and procedures are suddenly no longer fit for purpose or unexpected challenges such as Covid or a global financial crash mean that a team needs to find new ways to operate. Having creativity at the core of your team culture is the foundation stone of team agility and adaptability. The ability to think outside of the box and step out of an established comfort zone is essential for any organisation that wishes to be ahead of the curve.
We tend to think of creativity as a character trait. And whole some personalities are more naturally suited to creative thinking, anyone can learn and effectively use the skill of creativity. In fact, those stereotypical ‘creative types’, are not always the ones who generate an effective solution to a challenge.
Learning to be creative is surprisingly easy when using well-developed thinking techniques. All that is required is a positive mindset and the willingness to engage. With the right prompts and facilitation, the mind can open up with powerful results. We suggest starting with tools such as Six Thinking Hats® or Creative Teams to begin your team creativity journey. Both are hugely engaging, relevant for and easy to use in any workplace.
Team cohesion breaks down when communication goes wrong. Not everyone is a natural communicator, at both ends of the scale – communication must be a two-way exchange for it to be successful. Some find it very difficult to speak up, some find it difficult to leave room for others to speak up.
Being able to successfully communicate your message in a team or board meeting, and have it land with positive impact is a rarely taught skill. Because we can talk, it is assumed we can communicate – these are two different things. The result is that the quieter team members say less and subsequently feel less engaged within the organisation. Equipping them with communication skills techniques to use their voice will strengthen their position, grow their confidence and take a more proactive role in the workplace. This has become even more important in the online meeting era, where it’s all too easy to be a silent guest in the shadow of more dominant personalities.
Equally important for team communications are writing skills, particularly for meeting minute-taking and when setting a standard for the workplace. Avoid alienating or boring your colleagues with preaching or long-winded emails that no one will read to the end.
This the team building training that everyone needs. Instead of building a raft with barrels and baler twine to create the conditions for conflict, help your teams to actually understand where that conflict comes from in the workplace and how to resolve it, in the workplace. Conflict need not be destructive if it is understood. Team effectiveness training empowers teams with the insights, strategies and language they need to acknowledge concerns, different approaches and most of all to use this diversity of thought to their advantage.
Team Emotional Intelligence, Resilience and Motivation
Team creativity, communication and effectiveness work at their optimum level when underpinned by emotional intelligence, resilience and motivation.
With greater self-awareness, self-regulation and regard for others, teams can avoid the unnecessary conflict that comes from simplu over-reacting, speaking out of turn or being ignorant of the feelings of others. As we mentioned, conflict in terms of differences of opinion is not always bad, if managed correctly and respectfully. Improving emotional intelligence in your teams will help to sustain morale even at the toughest of times as the team uses those new communication techniques more effectively to develop innovative solutions.
When teams collaborate well, their group motivation increases and drives productivity. In recognising the achievements of individual members and the team as a whole, they spur each other on and develop the strong workplace relationships that are the bedrock of a healthy workplace culture.
Resilient teams persevere through the many challenges they face, supporting each other as they go. They are able to be adaptable, leverage their creativity skills and be appropriately optimistic about achieving successful outcomes.
We’re a team who practice what we preach. 2020 was tough, but we made it through with perseverance, motivation and above all by supporting each other. Contact us to find out how we can help you to do the same.
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