Before you can begin improving your team or building up their collaborative skills it is important to be aware of some crucial elements to team-building. Staff members of all kinds need to feel supported, empowered, trusted, and involved among other things.
Here are some important elements that need to be considered before embarking on a team-building mission:
Be human Staff members need a strong leader, but there is still a need to be personable and social. No, you do not need to be their best friend but they should feel comfortable approaching you with good and bad news. This is crucial for effective communication.
Build trust Your staff should be able to trust you to make decisions that are in everyone’s best interest. It is generally understood that difficult decisions will need to be made, but if your staff cannot trust your intentions then they will have a difficult time supporting changes that may come up. This trust will extend to all staff members but it begins with you.
Create a system of support Build a network of resources and allies within the center. New teachers should have a mentor type of person to lean on should they need advice. Likewise, be willing to listen to new ideas and support staff in trying new things.
Share the vision If the team doesn’t share the goal, there is no way that they can all get there. While not all team members have the exact same tools to help reach the goal, they do all have a part that they can play to support reaching the goal. It is important that this is shared between all team members.
Be transparent Staff members do not need to know every minuscule detail of the center’s inner workings, however transparency is important. If a policy is made, let staff members know the “why” in addition to the “how” and the “what.” Giving them the backstory allows them to understand and support the policy instead of feel resentment or confusion.
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