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GMAmalthia
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re: Being an effective team :)

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Symptoms that Signal a Need for Team Building

  • Decreased productivity
  • Conflicts or hostility among members
  • Confusion about assignments, missed signals, and unclear relationships
  • Decisions misunderstood or not carried through properly
  • Apathy and lack of involvement
  • Lack of initiation, imagination, innovation; routine actions taken for solving complex problems
  • Complaints of discrimination or favoritism
  • Ineffective meetings, low participation, minimally effective decisions
  • Negative reactions to the manager
  • Complaints about quality of service

Being a team is more than just killing bosses together. Your failings are not your own, they are as a team, as well as your triumphs. Effective teams do not point fingers and place blame, they ask one another, "How can I help?" Because they know that helping one another helps themselves. They work through problems as a unit to accomplish mutual goals. 

Team building can lead to:

  • Good communications with participants as team members and individuals
  • Increased productivity and creativity
  • Team members motivated to achieve goals
  • A climate of cooperation and collaborative problem-solving
  • Higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment
  • Higher levels of trust and support
  • Diverse Friends working well together
  • Clear objectives
  • Better operating policies and procedures

So how is this accomplished? How do you build a team, and how do you BECOME one? First you must be invested. These are the steps I try to utilize as a raid leader. i try very hard for them all to hold true, even if not perfectly, to some degree.  

Steps to Building an Effective Team

The first rule of team building is an obvious one: to lead a team effectively, you must first establish your leadership with each team member. Remember that the most effective team leaders build their relationships of trust and loyalty, rather than fear or the power of their positions.

  • Consider each member's ideas as valuable. Remember that there is no such thing as a stupid idea.
  • Be aware of members' unspoken feelings. Set an example to team members by being open withm and sensitive to their moods and feelings.
  • Act as a harmonizing influence. Look for chances to mediate and resolve minor disputes; point continually toward the team's higher goals.
  • Be clear when communicating. Be careful to clarify directives.
  • Encourage trust and cooperation among your team. Remember that the relationships team members establish among themselves are every bit as important as those you establish with them. As the team begins to take shape, pay close attention to the ways in which team members work together and take steps to improve communication, cooperation, trust, and respect in those relationships.
  • Encourage team members to share information. Emphasize the importance of each team member's contribution and demonstrate how all of their jobs operate together to move the entire team closer to its goal.
  • Delegate problem-solving tasks to the team. Let the team work on creative solutions together.
  • Facilitate communication. Remember that communication is the single most important factor in successful teamwork. Facilitating communication does not mean holding meetings all the time. Instead it means setting an example by remaining open to suggestions and concerns, by asking questions and offering help, and by doing everything you can to avoid confusion in your own communication.
  • Establish team values and goals; evaluate team performance. Be sure to talk with members about the progress they are making toward established goals so that members get a sense both of their success and of the challenges that lie ahead. Address teamwork in performance standards. Discuss with your team:
    • What do we really care about in performing our job?
    • What does the word success mean to this team?
    • What actions can we take to live up to our stated values?
  • Make sure that you have a clear idea of what you need to accomplish; that you know what your standards for success are going to be; that you have established clear time frames; and that team members understand their responsibilities.
  • Use consensus. Set objectives, solve problems, and plan for action. While it takes much longer to establish consensus, this method ultimately provides better decisions and greater productivity because it secures every member's commitment to all phases of the work.
  • Set ground rules for the team. These are the norms that you and the team establish to ensure efficiency and success. They can be simple directives (Team members are to be punctual for meetings) or general guidelines (Every team member has the right to offer ideas and suggestions), but you should make sure that the team creates these ground rules by consensus and commits to them, both as a group and as individuals.
  • Establish a method for arriving at a consensus. You may want to conduct open debate about the pros and cons of proposals, or establish research committees to investigate issues and deliver reports.
  • Encourage listening and brainstorming. As supervisor, your first priority in creating consensus is to stimulate debate. Remember that members are often afraid to disagree with one another and that this fear can lead your team to make mediocre decisions. When you encourage debate you inspire creativity and that's how you'll spur your team on to better results.
  • Establish the parameters of consensus-building sessions. Be sensitive to the frustration that can mount when the team is not achieving consensus. At the outset of your meeting, establish time limits, and work with the team to achieve consensus within those parameters. Watch out for false consensus; if an agreement is struck too quickly, be careful to probe individual team members to discover their real feelings about the proposed solution.

My expectation is that I have set down rules, guidelines, policies and procedures to clearly define my expectations of you, and by filling out an application and being accepted to our team, you are agreeing to adhere to and uphold them. My secondary expectation is that if I am not doing MY job, you will relay to me your concerns directly so we can discuss effective ways to remedy the problem (sometimes it's a perception problem, and we need to get to the bottom of that too).

But that is you and I. Me and you. Just us. How do you build, nurture, and maintain relationships, extending outside of just Facebook chat and raid nights with one another? How can you become invested in our goals, our hopes and dreams, and one another? I'd like to hear your ideas, and I'd like to try some of them.

Please try to keep all replies in this thread, instead of on facebook, so EVERYONE has the opportunity to participate (5-6 members of the team are not on/do not use facebook, and I am not going to force them to).



Last edited by GMAmalthia on Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total


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xcalizorz
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re: Being an effective team :)

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 i know we raid together and on vent tue and thurs. but what if we all got together in vent one off night. like sun night. and chatted about issues in game. just for like 30 min. have a raid team meeting. in game we have a time limit. this way we can sit in our garrisons and talk things out, with the understanding it is an open forum, meaning no negative reprecussions can be handed out. i think this may also help with perception issues, cuz tone can be hear and not read

GMAmalthia
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Hey some of you said you didn't really know what to talk about, when "getting to know" one another, and I found this great little helper. I hope it helps some of you break the ice!

When it gets awkward talking to someone new, remember the FORD method for making small talk. (Ha! Because you're "Found On Road Dead" in the conversation!)

F = Family (Ask about their spouse, kids, and siblings)
O = Occupation (Ask what they do and how they like it)
R = Recreation (Ask, “What do you do for fun?” or “How do you usually spend your weekends?”)
D = Dreams (What have you always wanted to do? Where have you always wanted to go?)

FORD stands for "Family," "Occupation," "Recreation" and "Dreams." Use the FORD method in conversations by asking questions about these topics when talking to others. This technique can be used in settings ranging from blind dates to business dinners, to help others feel comfortable talking about themselves.

F Is for Family

Always have a few family-related questions ready to ask when you find yourself in conversation with others. You don't need to be overly creative; simple ideas such as "How is your family?" or "How are your children?" are great starters with people you have met before. Ask questions to learn more such as, "How did you meet your spouse?" or "How long have you been together?" if you know the person is married. If the other person has children, ask related questions such as, "How old are they?" "What schools do they attend" or "What sports do they play?" If you can, learn ahead of time who you will be meeting so that you know a bit of information already, advises professor of psychology Susan Krauss Whitbourne in the Psychology Today article, "10 Tips to Talk About Anything with Anyone."

O Is for Occupation

Ask about a person's occupation to start a work-related conversation. Questions might include "What line of work are you in?" "How do you like your job?" or "That's interesting, how did you end up doing that sort of work?" If you are talking to someone you know well, consider asking about retirement plans or aspects of the company where the person is employed. With each new interaction, try to learn something new, advises Whitbourne. If you show others that you are interested, they will be more likely to open up and talk more.

R Is for Recreation

Recreation refers to anything that others do for relaxation or enjoyment. Examples of questions you might ask include "What do you like to do for fun?" "What do you do on the weekends?" or "Do you go on vacation often?" If you know a bit about a person's hobbies, you can ask questions about those topics. For example, "Are you still into mountain bike riding?" or "How was your trip to France?" Expand on the conversation by linking the response you receive to other related topics, the Shyness Research Institute article, "How to Make Successful Small Talk: The Key to Connecting, Not Just Conversing," advises. If the other person mentions a vacation to Hawaii, say something like, "I was there a few years ago. Did you happen to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park?" Conversation becomes fun when you can talk about mutual interests.

D Is for Dreams

The last part of the FORD technique involves asking questions about others' dreams. Don't be afraid to get creative with questions like "What have you always wanted to do?" "If you could travel anywhere, what place would you visit?" or "Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?" Don't feel bad if the other person does not immediately pick up on the topics that you suggest. It may take a few attempts before you find something that gets that person interested in talking. Be sure to listen and reflect back what you hear. As Whitbourne notes, you might even help that person develop insight to make changes for the future.



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GMAmalthia
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re: Being an effective team :)

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Bump for relevance. 

Some raid teirs can be more frustrating than others. This can lead to inner group turmoil, self esteem problems, finger pointing, and general problems. 

Remember you all have a common goal, you are all in this together, and the strength of a group is always it's commitment to one another, and nothing else. 

You can do the thing! 



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