Almost everyone has attended some sort of Team Building Training. But have these sessions really prepared you to BUILD a team that will work well together? Instead of learning how to build a rope bridge or carry 5 gallons of water with 3 spoons what you really need is tips on actually building and managing a team.

For many “Team Building” is nothing more than a catchy phrase used to sell training programs. Those programs usually throw a bunch of strangers together and have them complete complex tasks often with limited tools. While they may be good tools in crisis management they do little to train you in developing and managing an actual team. Here are some tips that are designed to help you do just that in a real world setting rather than a classroom or obstacle source.

1. Pick experts who complement each other’s skills – no one can be an expert in everything, this is why a good team has many experts. Each team member brings individual knowledge which adds to the team’s overall ability.

2. Assign work to the best team member- the only way to achieve the most from any team, even one comprised of experts, is to assign work based on ability. This means you need to make assignments based on what is best for the team rather than the individual.

3. Diversity does not make a good foundation for a team – many of today’s managers look for diversity in their teams. Leaders recognize diversity has a place, especially in terms of providing different viewpoints. But too much diversity diminishes the team’s ability to work together with a common focus.

4. Not everyone works well together – in a perfect world, every member of the team will work perfect together. But we do not live in a perfect world and in the real world, some people do not work well together. As the leader it is your job to identify these situations and when possible avoid assigning those team members to work together. Forcing members to get along rarely works and only diminishes the overall team production.

5.Do not focus on a single star – almost every team will have that one member who stands out, the superstar who garners a lot of attention. But, no matter how productive or positive any single member may be focusing too much attention on them can hurt overall team dynamics. Take advantage of the hot shot, using them to the team’s advantage, but do not forget the other members either. Instead of depending on one superstar look to build a whole team of stars.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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