5 Ways to Build an Epic, Passionate Team

5 Ways to Build an Epic, Passionate Team

2/26/2016


Some of the biggest keys to being a great entrepreneur or creator are knowing what your strengths are, what you need to delegate, and where you need support.

It’s no secret that the people behind the scenes collaborating with you to make it all happen are completely integral to your success. Team building is not to be taken lightly, simply because as a person who wants to have an impact in this world, you can’t overlook the people you’re working with. It’s so important to find like-minded individuals with the specific skill sets you’re seeking, but it’s doubly important that they’re moved by your mission and passionate about the work you’re doing. It works in the other direction too, it’s not worth hiring someone with an excellent resume if they’re just not excited about what you’re trying to do. Many people say that team building is an art. Some say that it’s a science. The truth is that it’s probably a little bit of both.

The art is on you. Trust your judgment, know what you’re looking for, and be laser-focused on the mutual benefit to starting and establishing a working partnership. Will the position support someone’s career goals? Do they have exactly what you need in terms of ability? Does their personality blend well with those already on your team? Do you know how to effectively keep people feeling connected, appreciated, and excited?

The science is that there is a ton of psychological research to back of the value of team building exercises, the relationship of work/life balance to productivity at work, and the necessity of reward and appreciation for sustainable relationships.

With all of that aside, if you want to build an epic team, seeking passion, confidence, and dedication are three keys in character that can get you well on your way. If someone has these qualities and they’re eager to learn, as well as totally psyched about your goals, it’s worth it to choose them over someone who lacks this zest but looks good on paper. At the end of the day, you’re spending countless hours with these people, and they’re doing their best to help you get something off the ground or grow it in the way you envision. They’re like family, so in my opinion, it’s important to treat them as such.

  1. Keep everyone connected to each other.

It’s important that all team members know they aren’t just cogs in a wheel, but that they can talk to each other, and that they’re there to support each other as needed. Creating camaraderie outside of the workplace is key, because it’s a way to demonstrate that you value well-being and strong relationships between and among everyone involved. Notable team building exercises are retreats, dinners, cocktail hours, events, and other outings. Activities that take you out of the office can be favored because it’s a change of pace and often a welcome change of environment. Also, be conscious of all of your employees. Know their birthdays. Check in with them occasionally to see how they’re doing. Make them feel important, because they truly are.

2. Have core values that you lead/live/work by.

Come up with a bullet point list of the words that you want to engender in your working environment, but also for doing business in general. Being clear about what motivates you and the kind of energy you want to facilitate within your team is an important way to maintain a supportive company culture. Think of the qualities you want your team members to explore, what’s important to you, and what you’d like your company to represent. Creativity? Innovation? Flexibility? Balance? Consistency? You can invite people to add a word or two of their own, have a dialogue around it, and see if any suggestions come to the fore for how you can lean more in one direction or the other.

3. Be compassionate, understand, and listen.

Employees are humans. They have lives outside of the office, which they generally leave at the door, but being conscious of this fact can afford you the important quality of compassion. When employees or team members feel heard and understood, they are happier people, and therefore happier to be working with you. Make sure you keep a pulse on important life events, and comments or concerns that come from anyone involved with your business or project, as they can be valid and create necessary evolution.

4. Be appreciative and give feedback.

Constructive criticism is important when you’re shaping the flow of a business, but it’s important to balance it with praise and appreciation. Nobody is perfect, and it takes some of the pressure off of high demands when you make sure your team knows how epic and amazing you think they are. Appreciate first, critique second. When people feel appreciated, they can handle almost anything. In fact, this boost in self-confidence may encourage them to go above and beyond what you’re asking for.

5. Embrace differing personalities.

There will be times when team members have disagreements. There will be times when you don’t love some of the personality traits of a person you’ve hired. The truth is that a great team is a balanced one. Having some introverts and some extroverts, as well as some die-hard creatives and some die-hard analytical thinkers, and someone in between, can be a recipe for success. Running the gamut in personality, learning, and working styles generally means that where one person lacks, another might excel. It also fosters an environment of valuable collaboration that leads to growth, learning, and accelerated integration for those that are new.

These are some key ways to make everyone feel like they are truly part of a team. Remember that employees and team members are human, so create connection, and always appreciate. Have an onboarding system in place from day one so that key players feel welcomed in and recognized. Most importantly, keep everyone, including yourself, connected to the mission and not just the day-to-day details. Inspiration is key to anyone, anywhere, staying present and committed to their daily grind.


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