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JLBC Skill: Communication and Team Building

JLBC Skill: Communication and Team Building

Communicating, preventing and managing conflict, and building effective teams are interlocking skills for good leaders. Teams that really "click" usually have a leader who creates the environment and establishes the operating principles and values conducive to high performance. While some conflict is inevitable; a lot can be prevented by using the strategies of influential leaders who are successful at leading teams:

1. Defining clear goals or a vision in accordance with the overall organizational aims(the "big picture")

2. JLBC Cadets Creating blueprints for action to achieve those goals

3. Using language to build trust, encourage forward-thinking, and create energy within the team ("powerful conversations")

4. Getting the right people involved ("passionate champions")

Interestingly, teams are highly touted as an effective way to accomplish creative work in today's business world, but there are lots of reasons why many teams fail. People are often not good at teamwork and do not even agree on what the team is supposed to be doing. That is why the leader mustn't provide just the goals and vision but clarity in other areas as well:

• Clear boundaries of who is on the team and who is not;

• Clear and compelling direction and clear norms of conduct with clearly defined tasks;

• Manageable size, as small as you can get away with. Coutu suggests no double digits, and often six is an ideal size;

• Assurance that the organization will be supportive: the reward system, the HR system, and the information system must facilitate teamwork; and

• Expert coaching: teams need coaching as a group in team processes, in the beginning, mid-point, and at the end of a team project. The coaching provided by the leader focuses on team processes and performance.

It is a door with personnel coming and going, some taking on temporary "acting" roles because of other staff moves, temporary leaves, or promotions, with general transience becoming the norm.

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