As a society, we love to revere the loners. History books are full of stories about lone inventors who make miracles happen, of generals who win battles, or artists who change the world with their visions. But here’s the thing about these stories: They’re wrong. Nothing great is done solo. Every great advancement comes from team-work. Even if one person gets all the credit in the history books, the truth is they had a well-oiled team working with them to make their dreams come true. If you want to make your business dreams come true, you can’t do it alone: You need the best possible team on your side!
At Printing Solutions, we’re dedicated to building the best possible team, not just for our business, but also for the sake of our customers. We can’t do great things unless we’ve got great people working together to make it happen, and we’re proud to say that we’ve done that here. Here are a few principles that we used to put together our best possible team: We hope it helps you find yours.
The sci-fi writer Robert Anton Wilson once said, “True communication is only possible between equals.” Strong communication is what binds a team together. A strong team exists in a receptive environment, where people feel encouraged and respected enough to share their ideas and build on what their coworkers are doing. Communication creates a feeling of equality: If you don’t feel you can voice your opinions or ideas to your coworkers, you’re on the wrong team.
Communication makes it so everyone is on the same page. That’s crucial for making projects come to pass and actually meeting deadlines. In this day and age, there’s absolutely no reason for not being able to keep people in the loop. From screen recording apps to instant messaging and voice-to-text dictation, it’s never been easier to record meetings and take notes.
If you haven’t already implemented this step, consider recording all your staff meetings and training sessions. Creating a video library that everyone can regularly access and watch makes it so everyone has a chance to be informed and up to date about what’s going on. It also makes it so that team members who aren’t present at the time have a chance to catch up and not feel like they’ve been missing out.
Nothing makes a team function as well as trust. Put the most talented and hard-working people together and they won’t be able to accomplish much if they don’t trust each other. Trust is what makes communication possible in the first place. Trust makes it so everyone on your team can give each other constructive criticism and call each other out when necessary, without fear of bruising their egos.
Build trust with your team by taking them out for team-building activities. Get them to have fun and drop their inhibitions for a bit, and they’ll start to trust each other more. The best activities are the ones that require group problem solving and communication. Even something as simple as a softball game or a trivia night can work wonders for creating that powerful group bond.
An essential part of building trust is understanding all the personalities on your team. Everyone communicates and thinks differently. If you want to get someone to trust you, show them that you accept them for who they are. Accommodate them when necessary. Sometimes the most brilliant and innovative minds can also be the most socially awkward, or suffer from mental/mood disorders: Learning to deal with their behaviors and worldview is critical to gaining their trust.
Think of your team as a dish. You can’t properly cook something unless you have a firm understanding of each ingredient and how it relates to the overall flavors you’re trying to create that will compliment one another.
A good team understands the individual strengths and talents of each member on the talent. Not everybody can be the quarterback! In order for a team to really kick things into gear, everyone needs to know their role. Most teams require a strong leader, someone with the guiding vision and personality to help the team succeed. But for a leader to be effective, they need to respect their team and listen to them. If you can’t respect your team, they won’t respect you.
Another important aspect of delegation is confrontation. Occasionally someone on the team will slack off or make a mistake. Strong teams hold themselves accountable: After all, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. In order for a leader to delegate and for people to play their roles well, everyone on the team needs to be holding their own. If one person drops the ball, it can affect everyone else. And if you don’t call people out on their mistakes or bad habits, these can snowball over time into something disastrous.
Calling people out can be awkward. Nobody likes to do it. But if your team has open communication and a lot of trust holding it together, people will be able to take that feedback and use it in a positive way.
Like attracts like. A positive team is full of positive people. Positivity enables and encourages. It pushes people to challenge themselves and try new things, to take risks. Negativity kills that feeling of potential. A negative person says “no” instead of “yes”. Instead of trying to push the envelope, they’ll always advise caution. While it can be good to have a devil’s advocate on your team who can offer valuable critiques of your work, you don’t want someone who’s going to constantly rain on your parade.
The problem with negative people is that their dourness is infectious. And once that mopeyness spreads, your team is in trouble. It’s hard to motivate people who believe your project is pointless or doomed to failure. It’s hard to be productive when you fail to see the worth in your work. Surround yourself with people who believe in what you do, who are exciting and find it rewarding. Those are the people who will make your team unbeatable on the marketplace.
It’s a cliché, but it’s absolutely true: “Work hard, play hard.” People who have fun at work will be eager to go to work. They won’t be sighing when their alarm clock jolts them awake on Monday morning- No, they’ll be THRILLED to go to work. If you create an environment that’s fun and stimulating, your team will be eager to get to work.
Give your team breaks. Let them laugh and blow off some steam. Have them play music they like, let them goof off for a few minutes after putting in hours of grade-A work. This is how groups form strong connections: Give them some time to shoot the breeze and they’ll come to crave each other’s company. A great team doesn’t feel like a randomly assembled group of coworkers. It feels like a gang of friends who get things done!
We’re all about building the best possible team at Printing Solutions. Our team is here to help your business succeed by taking care of your printing and design needs. Give us a call at 480-596-6300 and let us know how our team can help you.