How to Make People Work Better On a Team

By Drew Stevens, Ph.D.

Many of you need to work on cross functional teams from time to time. These multi-dimensional teams integrate numerous personalities to organize and implement projects. Yet not all work well or get along. So here are some options for those that manage and facilitate cross functional teams.

  1. Share learning gaps and fears. The only way to establish cross-functional objectives is to immediately get out of the way fears and barriers.
  2. Defining Team Ground Rules in addition to individual goals. Explain how each individual adds to the collective goal. It takes hundreds of people to build a data center each with their functional expertise. Explain how each person is a piece of the organizational puzzle for job completion.
  3. Tackle issues immediately. Do not allow the cross functional group to harbor on issues this delays data and ruins the collaboration of the team.
  4. Implement Accountability. There is a domino effect when people fail milestones. Hold people accountable to achieve the overall mission.
  5. Settle disputes quickly. People will harbor issues but the job must be completed. Let issues end as quickly as they begin.
  6. Welcome diverse opinions. When members know their opinion counts they are more participative and this allows for more freedom of thought.
  7. Conducting Effective Team Meetings is the last method to ensuring your team’s mutual success. Keep all people in the know and communicate barriers and areas of success.
  8. Measure progress and celebrate it. Team members need to understand where they are and how they are performing. More importantly people need to be rewarded for meeting team goals.

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