Building Effective Teams

Building Effective Teams -  Lisa U Maki

What makes a team effective? What factors dictate its effectiveness? How do you ensure the effectiveness of teams? These are just a few of the questions that this article aims to address. My desire is to see more teams solid and united in their vision and mission. I want to see better team leaders and team players. I want to see more teams intermingling with other teams, accomplishing more for the glory of God.
Before I discuss the factors that make teams effective, it is good to look first at hindrances and oppositions that we are facing in today's times -- issues that destroy teams or make them ineffective.
Our enemy's tactic is always "to divide...and conquer". This means that he will seek to divide first, and when the team is divided, then he can attack and defeat them. He knows that there is power in a "team"... that two are better than one... that unity makes a team stronger. So, he attacks the unity of the team first. He sows seeds of envy, competition, and discord. He will form cliques within the team and eventually these cliques will be opposing other cliques until the whole team collapses.
There are several factors that break or divide a team. These are: spirit of envy and jealousy, differences of opinions, self-promotion or pride, lack of respect for leadership, and lack of motivation. There are other factors, but I want to focus on these most pressing ones.
All these factors have to be taken into consideration before a team is even built. If you are thinking of building your team, be sure that all these areas are covered before you even start recruiting members. If you lay the foundation right, chances are you will have a solid team, regardless of what your team goes through. Let us now go back to the abovementioned factors that break a team and let me dissect it further by showing you the root causes of each of these and what you should do to prevent it.
Spirit of Envy and Jealousy
These two spirits are so closely related but distinct from each other. Envy refers to wanting what someone has such as power, achievement, or certain characteristics which that person does not have. Jealousy, according to Wikipedia, is the fear of losing something that one possesses to another person. Additionally, envy normally involves two people while jealousy typically involves three people.
Both envy and jealousy stem from a person's insecurity and lack of self-esteem. Let me show you a perfect scenario here which is something very familiar to me because I have experienced it so many times...
Maria is the head of a team and Lana is one of her team members. Maria sees so much potential in Lana and so she spends a lot of time motivating her and even giving her tasks that will harness her skills. Lana, on the other hand, feels so motivated. The more Maria pushes her to be better, the more she looks up to Maria and the more she wants to be like her. Lana now starts comparing herself to Maria. She has always wanted to be someone like her but her insecurities and fears have always blocked her. Maria's constant prodding and encouragement actually highlights Lana's fears which actually triggers her envy.
In building a team, it is important to know your team members' fears and insecurities. Do this at the onset, during the recruitment and selection process. Find out what their dreams, goals, and visions are and how far they are in relation to these. Find out what they believe are their hindrances towards the achievement of their visions.
Though it is your primary role as a leader to motivate and encourage your people, don't overdo it. Don't let your people look up to you; let them look up to God.
Differences of Opinions
It is good to have differences of opinions for as long as it is not contradictory to the vision, mission, and core values of the group. It is for this reason why any team needs a vision-mission statement, as well as core values. This should serve as the bedrock of the team. Every team member should know about these.
With all these in place, and completely understood, any differences of opinions can be brought back to the main vision-mission of the team and what it believes in and stands for.
Self-Promotion or Pride
Pride is the sin that brought Lucifer's downfall. This sin is our flesh's second nature and should be bridled at all times. Every member of the team, including the leader herself, is in that team not for herself but for others in the team. Philippians 2:4 says that each of us should look not only to our own interests, but also of the interests of others.
At the onset of the team formation, the team leader should make this 'team concept' clear to everyone. It will also be good to give each one a specific leadership role. When you, as a leader, sense pride in any of your people, expose it right away and cut it off from there.
Lack of Respect for Leadership
During the recruitment and selection phase, it is essential to do a background check in this area. Find out how the person's relationship was with her former leader(s) and if she left in peace. If there is a pattern of rebellion against the leader, then chances are she will do the same to you.
Make it clear from the beginning that if anyone in the team has some concerns about your leadership, then they should discuss it with you. Explain to them the order that God has set -- that you were placed as their leader for that season. Make them understand that you are the main steward of the vision of the team and that it is God and not you who put you there in leadership.
Lack of Motivation
People can get restless when they are de-motivated. And when restlessness sets in, so many other issues attach themselves to it such as gossip, complaining & murmuring, and discontent.
As a team leader, it is your role to always keep your team fresh. Break the monotony of things every now and then. Be ready with surprises.
Remember, you can't motivate people in the same way because each one has a different drive and passion. Find out what each one's passion is: what makes her tick... what makes her heart jump... what her interests are... and from here, give her a task and responsibility that is tailor-fit to who she is and her own uniqueness, the way God designed her.
As I've mentioned earlier, building effective teams start before the team is even there. From here it will be easier to maintain its effectiveness.
Lisa Maki is the founder of God'z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women whose mission is to is to provide a place where women can learn to manage their emotions, experience healing, receive love and acceptance, be free to be who God made them to be, and be the best they can be in their homes, schools, professions, relationships, and calling, through sharing of insights and experiences, counseling, prayer, and devotionals, thereby learning from and supporting each other.For more of Lisa's articles, visit Article Source: Article Source: