Four Steps for Developing a Winning Team

Developing a winning team is extremely important if your company is going to make improvements.  In this blog, I provide four steps that will help.


It’s interesting that when we begin our days in school that everything is focused upon individual performance.  Don’t cheat off your neighbor, don’t crib information from Google or the review apps will catch you.

Beat out your classmate for valedictorian.  Everything is based on individual performance.  Unless you are involved in team sports, you may not be exposed to team efforts.  Winning and losing as a team.

Flash forward twelve to sixteen to twenty years and now you are in the work environment.  The dynamic becomes working together as a team to meet the desired goals.  You have a boss you answer to.  Everybody has a boss of some sort.  Even CEO’s and Presidents answer to a board of directors.

Besides your boss, you may be put on a project team to solve a problem or come up with new opportunities.  Most likely there will be a project sponsor and a project leader.  They will be the leaders of the project/activity.

After all the time you have been measured on individual performance (which you still will in the form of a performance review) now you are asked to operate as part of a team. Here are some key tips that can help you perform better a team.

1.  Have good listening skills

Yes, we’ve all heard that we have two ears and one mouth and that we should listen twice as much as we speak.  I’ve found this to be very good advice, but the problem is that when things pop into our heads, we feel as if we have to get them out right away or they will be lost forever.

No matter how hard it is for you, try to wait until the other person is done speaking before responding.  If I think of several things to respond with, I’ve learned to curl those fingers to my thumb so I can keep track of how many ideas I had.  Then when I respond I release a finger at a time.

2.  Respect the other team members

In developing a winning team, everyone must operate from a place of mutual respect.  Realize that people have been placed on the team for specific reasons.  Understand that fact and respect why they are there.  Each team member brings a unique viewpoint to the team.  Diversity of thought and viewpoints lead to better solutions.

3.  Have empathy

EQ (Emotional Quotient) is more important these days than IQ.  Empathy is identifying and understanding other’s situations, feelings, and emotions.

Maybe a team member had a baby that kept them up all night the previous night.  Someone might have a loved one facing medical issues.  We are all people that have lives outside of work.  Try to be aware of a team member who seems out of sorts and provide support if you can.

4.  Four stages of a team

Every team goes through the four stages of a team- Forming, storming, norming and performing.  Realize it will happen and at a different pace for each team.

Some teams move through these phases quickly and for others, it may take the first three to five meetings.  Realize it will happen and work to get through it as a team to become stronger together.

As always, it’s an honor to serve you and I hope this helps you and your organization get a little bit better today.

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