Published date: January 22, 2020
Last modified: January 22, 2020

What Are the Benefits of Team Building?

Businesses that take the time to develop employees properly see long-term benefits. Team building is one area of development that is easily overlooked. As a business leader, you can get many benefits from incorporating team-building exercises and activities into your company culture. Team building is worth the time and effort.

The main benefit of team building is to build trust among team members. This has the knock-on effect of improving communication and morale, and revealing strengths and leadership qualities that people did not realize they had.

Building Trust Among Co-Workers

When co-workers are forced to work on a project outside the scope of normal job duties, they relax and let their guard down. After all, no one will be fired for not solving the scavenger hunt the fastest. When walls are lowered, people engage in creative dialogue seeking solutions to the task at hand. Co-workers realize they are part of a team with a variety of ideas that can help solve problems. The result is greater trust among co-workers when they return to the daily office tasks.

Improving Company Morale

Team-building exercises are meant to be fun and engaging for everyone. Strange team-building exercises, such as building a contraption to catch an egg from a 2-foot drop without it breaking, seem funny at face value. However, the creative solutions come with whacky ideas, often laughter and a combined competitive spirit. These moments overflow into the work environment, giving people a connection and improving overall company morale. Great morale leads to improved productivity.

Better Communication

Team-building exercises are designed to force people to brainstorm about odd problems or talk about themselves in nonwork ways. The exercise forces people to follow the script and talk to one another. This has far-reaching benefits. Not only do co-workers learn more about each other’s talents and skills, they might also learn about their cultural history. This opens eyes as to why people might act or speak differently from one another.

Business leaders know that a diverse workplace where people respect others’ backgrounds and opinions lead to better communication and fewer misunderstandings or conflict.

Uncover Leadership Qualities

When you put a group of people together who don’t normally have reason to work with one another, you see natural personalities rise to the top. As a result, the wall-flower might need prodding to engage in the activity. It also allows those with natural leadership abilities to step up and take charge of the activity. Business owners can observe the type of leadership style someone demonstrates: authoritative, coaching or pacesetter. This helps business leaders see how to cultivate existing leaders better and mentor new leaders in the company.

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

While doing daily activities, people stick to their respective tasks. This isn’t always a full picture of what someone’s strengths and weaknesses are. Team-building exercises help identify core competencies that employers seek in employees. Competencies include but aren’t limited to competitiveness, integrity, influencing, problem-solving and goal setting. Business leaders are able to identify these traits and use this information to build a strong team by investing in building up its people.

Thanks to Kimberley Leonard

Published date:
Last modified: January 22, 2020

Want to be seen as a visionary leader? Follow these 3 steps

What is a visionary leader? How do they differentiate from the herd?

When we consider those who have impressed their influence on history in the form of powerful leadership, we may conjure up images of Churchill, George Washington, Steve Jobs or even the likes of Trump or Barack Obama. All of the above undoubtedly have a spark; an element that divides them from the hubbub of leaders looking to be on another level.

Dave Lavinsky, celebrated Executive Coach and writer stated that it’s all about having a broader perspective. He said: “Vision in business requires that you clearly see where you choose to be in future and formulate the necessary steps to get your organisation there. Creating and sustaining a vision for an organisation calls for discipline and creativity.

“A business leader must have the passion, strength of will, and the necessary knowledge to achieve long-term goals. A focused individual who can inspire his team to reach organizational goals is a visionary business leader,” he concluded.

So, the goal for ascending to the domain of the visionary leader isn’t to be omniscient – none of the above examples of visionary leaders were any more or less informed than many other good leaders. What they did have, however, was clarity and, according to Career Specialist Suzanne Lucas, writing for The Balance Careers, three essential elements that allowed them to rise above.

Risk-taking

Maintaining the status quo, especially in a time of economic turmoil, is an admirable trait in a leader. If your leadership manages to steady the boat and provide stability in a stormy marketplace, then no doubt you’ll be seen as successful by your employees and peers. However, visionary leaders aren’t satisfied with stability. They want growth and development, and this only comes with taking risks. However, the difference between a poor risk and an educated risk is vast. This process isn’t about being seen to be drastic, it’s about taking in as much data about the market as possible, knowing your own company implicitly and then using the analysis of this data to make calculated progressive moves.

Listening

Being a visionary isn’t about striking out on your own and only trusting your own instincts. Truly innovative leaders don’t exist within a vacuumthey stand on the shoulders of everyone within their company and ensure that they’re using all of the knowledge and experience of those within their team to achieve great things. However, the trick to utilising all of this knowledge is to listen. Spend time with people at all levels within the firm and truly get to grips with who they are and what they do. If they believe there are improvements to be made, they’ll be a better judge of this within their own field than any C-suite team leader could be.

Taking responsibility

Being the leader of the pack will always mean that you have the weight of the increased pressure of being the responsible party on your shoulders. Bad leaders will attempt to take the glory when things go right, but pass the buck when things aren’t going to plan. A truly visionary leader will understand that such a fair-weather attitude is incorrect and take responsibility for their management. This means being the driving force behind your people, having an input into their direction and enabling those below you to perform to their best abilities. If things are still going wrong, that’s down to you and you only.

Do you see yourself as a visionary leader?

Thanks to ExecGrapvine

Published date: January 20, 2020
Last modified: January 20, 2020

How to deal with THOSE uncomfortable work situations

It’s inevitable that throughout your career, you’re going to stumble upon certain situations that would make even the most seasoned of leaders feel uncomfortable.

Whether it’s having to dish out some harsh truths to a respected member of staff, point out that someone emotionally unstable has an issue that they need to address, admit to screwing something up or even just coming across a sensitive issue that you’ve never dealt with before, it can be hard to feel out the right course of action.

Yet that right course of action is usually staring you in the face. The correct path is always the truthful one, and when you address an issue with sensitivity and emotional intelligence, people will always thank you in the long run for not shying away or simply ignoring it until it gets worse.

So, what are the biggest uncomfortable issues that leaders have to face?

See Join the Dots Dealing with Managing Challenging Conversations workshop

Overreactions 

These can be on your part, or on the part of a colleague. Sometimes, especially when the pressure is on, a small snag in your plan can seem like the end of the world. We all get worn down, and we’re all capable of taking this out on others. However, after you erupt, those who want to maintain their positive reputation will have the inevitable task of apologising – or, a leader will have the task of telling someone that they’ve overreacted. Both are hard to do, but both are necessary to assert that it simply isn’t acceptable within the workplace.

Interruptions 

Everyone has worked with a colleague who obviously has no idea that they constantly, incessantly interrupt others. Sure, it can accidentally happen once in a while, but the individual who deems it acceptable to constantly interrupt others is causing damage by essentially deeming themselves more important than others. It can be a simple conversation on the part of a boss, but an uncomfortable one to have.

 

Just not good enough

Not all those who must be let go are slackers. Whilst it’s easy to fire someone who obviously just doesn’t care about their role, it can be terribly hard and uncomfortable to fire an employee who is very passionate about their role, but who simply doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s important to remind yourself that at the end of the day, you’re here to run a tight team, and if someone isn’t pulling their weight, it can potentially drag the whole team down. It’s not worth keeping an underperforming team member just to avoid the uncomfortable situation of telling them.

The rumour mill

We all know an employee who likes to gossip about others. Ironically, they are usually the most questionable employees, yet they find time to endlessly gab about others’ lives. While some mindless chat can be ignored, there comes a time when every boss has to put their foot down and have the awkward conversation in which they reveal that they’re aware where the rumours are coming from. It may seem harmless at first but spreading baseless rumours about colleagues can amount to bullying if it affects the target emotionally.

Join the Dots has a host of Leadership and Management development opportunities – take a look

Thanks to Executive Network

Published date: January 17, 2020
Last modified: January 17, 2020

5 warning signs of a dangerously broken company culture

In the corporate world, company culture defines nearly everything. Throughout the last decade, the success and failure of companies were often indicative of their internal culture. The signs were there long before closure that things weren’t right.

Take WeWork, for example. Externally, the company seemed to be plying workers with all the trappings of a modern startup culture-centric business. Social media was awash with images of the company’s impressive offices, of unlimited alcohol on tap and constant fun corporate events – however, these were simply a façade; a face that the company put on externally to make themselves look good. Internally, the culture was crumbling with lightning-fast turnovers, reports of harassment, rolling firings and redundancies, directionless leaders and a CEO with no grounding in ensuring that his people’s wellbeing was taken care of.

It could happen to you

WeWork is a dramatic example, yet the signs of poor culture don’t have to be as in-your-face. It’s possible for a culture to be just as toxic and broken, without the signs being immediately obvious to leaders.

Understanding the indications that you have an issue can be the difference between being in business and not being in business. INC stated that employees subjected to poor culture in the workplace “markedly loosened bonds with their work-life,” whilst nearly half of employees “decreased [their] work effort” and intentionally spent less time at work. 38% “intentionally decreased” the quality of their work.

What are the signs?

Whilst the core offending elements may differ from company to company, a study of 1,000 workplaces by Culture Vigilance found that there were some key elements that generally defined whether employees considered their culture damaged or broken.

Value for the company over company values (37%)

If the whole company is aimed solely at making money and drawing as much ROI as possible from each and every employee and not on how you can improve employee wellbeing, then chances are your people don’t feel valued at all. Undervalued employees perform worse than those who feel engaged.

Reprehensible behaviour from top leaders (32%)

Employees take cues from those at the top, both good and bad. When CEOs at stalwart companies like Barnes & Noble and Papa John’s (to, unfortunately, name just a few) engage in sexual harassment or racist behaviours, how are employees supposed to feel? Usually, betrayed.

It’s essential that when things aren’t as they should be, workers know exactly where the line of accountability leads, and understand who they can talk to about it. Without an outlet (usually either a direct manager of HR), workers will become disillusioned and disengaged.

Insufficient investment in people (25%)

Its people are the best asset that a company has. Retaining key talent has a direct effect on productivity, depth of company knowledge and the satisfaction of your customers. To retain people, they must feel cared for and invested in.

Lack of diversity and inclusion (18%)

The key issue with hiring for ‘cultural fit’ is that often, this simply creates an echo chamber of like minded individuals, bringing no new or outside perspective to the creative table. Diversity and inclusion are essential as it adds a variety to companies that is imperative to success, let alone being fair and equality-driven.

Thanks to Executive Grapevine