5 essential skills to work on when team building

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When working in a team, we base our value on what we are able to contribute effectively to the team we work with. As such, it is important that certain basic skills be honed in order to increase efficiency when working with others. This guide provides the top 5 necessary skills to increase efficiency in team building.

1. Communication

Communication is the number one skill to improve team building and is required to ensure that all team members are frequently updated on all aspects of whatever is being worked on, to share ideas, to resolve problems and many other things. But most importantly, communication is necessary for preventing miscommunication.

Miscommunication resulting from poor communication skills can be the sole downfall of team building. Ever heard of the Broken Telephone Game? I am sure many of us have! If you haven’t, the aim of the game is to get a message from the first player to the last. The twist is that the message can only be whispered once from one player to another. The final message said aloud by the last player is often times a huge contrast to that of the original, giving everyone a good laugh! But if applied to the workplace or even a simple group project, it’s not so funny, is it?

Therefore, the key takeaway is to always voice out your opinions in a sensitive yet objective manner and remember to clarify always, to every team member!

2. Conflict Management

Perhaps sometimes we engage in too much communication. Over voicing of opinions may thus lead to disagreements, and in worse case scenarios, full-blown arguments between team members.

How then, do we go about resolving conflict when we run into any while team building? Some recommend taking certain steps to achieve resolution, while others say that there are multiple approaches, which can be used. But let us skip through all the jargon when it comes to resolving conflict. There are two main things that are the most important to resolve conflict.

The first is to stay calm. That’s right. Remember all those ‘Stay calm and…’ images that you’ve seen on Tumblr, WeHeartIt, Instagram, or wherever else? Yes, let your head rule over your heart and never let your emotions get the better of you! That’s the fastest way for conflict to ensue instead of resolving it. Stay calm, and then think about how you can resolve the conflict in an objective and fair manner.

This brings me to my next point. Do NOT ever avoid the conflict. Face it head on if you must, but never do nothing about it. How can you go about team building if your team is unable to get through their differences?

3. Problem Solving

What use is a team that doesn’t know how to solve problems? In every phase of life, we face challenges, even more so in the work place. As such, it would be essential to know how to work together to solve problems as a team.

To put this effect into team building, the most important thing would not to view whatever you and your team faces as an obstacle, but to see it as a problem that can be solved. Implement this mind-set amongst your team members, and inspire them to believe that whatever problem faced can be solved when you work together.

Also, be open-minded. The Dalai Lama once said, that “The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it’s open”. Open-mindedness allows us to be open to a multitude of solutions when trying to solve a problem. Something that we choose to write-off at the start may actually turn out to be the best solution for whatever problem at hand!

4. Positive Attitude

Positivity all day, everyday! I mean honestly, how many of us want to work in a workplace with such negativity, right? We spend 8-12 hours working everyday, and for some, perhaps more. The atmosphere of our work environment is bound to affect our emotions, whether we like it or not.

Well, here’ some good news for you! We ourselves determine our outlook in life, and in our workplace. Therefore when team building; remember to always keep a positive outlook to influence your group members to feel the same! Research has also shown that negative emotions result in lower cognitive performance and flexibility, which basically means a decrease in productivity. So remember, a happy worker is a productive worker!

5. Foster Respect

This is the last point in this article, but definitely not the least. I cannot stress how important respect is – this does not solely apply to team building, but also basic respect from one human being to another. How much more is due respect needed in team building then!

However, remember that respect has to be earned. The saying to “Treat others as how you wish to be treated” is very apt to this team building aspect. Respect first has to come from you. Some ways to foster respect is to keep in mind how your actions and words will impact your team members, and as such, always remember to think before you speak or act. Treating everyone equally and taking into account their opinions is also a good way to foster respect in team building – this allows your team members to know that you value their thoughts and ideas.

That’s it! Now go out there and apply these skills to your team building session today!

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