5 Tips to Uplift Your Team
A leader’s role is to ensure their team accomplishes their common goal. They need to keep their team motivated, provide training, and encourage the group to work together. But it becomes difficult to accomplish anything when there’s negativity—jealousy, gossip, hurt feelings, or burnout—among the team.
Avoiding negativity is a challenge for leaders, but with positive reinforcement, recognition, and redirection, leaders can construct a positive team dynamic that paves the way to progress.
Here are five tips to uplift your team dynamic:
Make Sure the Team Understands the Mission
The mission of any organization should reflect its values, standards, and commitments. In other words, it’s the “why” behind what you all do. Zyia’s mission is to “inspire and uplift by making activity a fun and essential part of life.” A clear mission statement guides your team and gives them focus. As a leader, part of your job is to ensure your team understands and is invested in your mission.
Once everybody understands the mission, set common goals to accomplish it. Common goals may be challenging for a team made up of individuals, but here are some ideas to mitigate the challenges:
- Set aside some time to meet with each member to go over how they can personally contribute to the group goal.
- Work with members individually and as a team to create smaller goals and clear expectations.
- Ask the group what you can do to help them accomplish their tasks. It’s easier for leaders to become the roadblock than they often imagine.
- Provide support—not micromanaging—as needed.
Work on Yourself to Uplift the Team
Although your role differs from the rest of your team, they’ll still look to you for guidance. Some leaders struggle with this, so be sure you’re in the right mindset to be there for your team when needed. Take time to uplift your mindset first, which will set the tone for the rest of your team.
Here are some ways you can work on yourself:
- Set boundaries so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Spend time with loved ones to ease stress.
- Know that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
- Share encouraging words.
- Accept that not everything will go your way.
- Learn from past mistakes, but don’t dwell on them.
For more tips on this, check out the article Uplift Your Life for 10 ways to uplift yourself and those around you.
Create Work Norms
Work norms help the team understand expectations. They’re also a way for you to redirect negative behaviors. In a business setting, you could have your team write down their daily or weekly goals, go over past goals, and share this with the team during a meeting. This norm would help those you lead to start the day, week, or month off on the right foot.
Here are some norms each team should have to improve their dynamic:
- Have a clear and consistent method of communication, as well as boundaries like no texting after 9pm.
- Meet in-person or virtually at specific times and with an agenda.
- Respect each other’s time during and outside of meetings.
- Discuss mistakes with a learning and supportive mindset.
- Have various team members rotate responsibilities inside the team, so everyone gets a chance to lead, learn, and grow.
Be Strategic with Competition
Competition can add fun to a team dynamic. It motivates the team to work hard and do their best, and it also adds an element of gamification to work life. However, when the stakes are too high, or team members feel pitted against one another, it can quickly turn toxic.
Use competition lightly within a team dynamic and mix it up, so each new competition plays to another team member’s strengths.
Also, be sure to provide positive reinforcement and recognition alongside competitive rewards. These two levers are vital to encouraging your team to improve and feel invested.
Improve the Dynamic with Careful Conflict Resolution
Problems with team dynamics can creep in over time or pop up out of (seemingly) nowhere. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to address culture and logistical problems, but it’s also common for team members to delay bringing them to your attention. When you spot a problem, here are four principles for dealing with it:
- Listen with an open mind: Some complaints can be hard to hear, especially about you. Consider all sides of the story and try to set aside your emotions before reacting.
- Decide on discretion vs. transparency: Interpersonal problems between two teammates may be best handled quietly, but transparency is likely the best course for team-wide issues. Consider each approach’s short- and long-term benefits and consequences before you invite more people into the conversation.
- Model the solution: However you react, consider that your team is looking to you for guidance on how to handle problems that arise in their own teams. Whatever values you model with your leadership and conflict resolution style will trickle down—for good or bad.
- Invite the Group to Create a Solution: If the problem affects everyone, give the team a voice in the solution. Ensuring they feel heard will help them feel valued and more comfortable communicating other issues that may arise.
- Learn from your wins and losses: As your team grows and evolves, the same problems can pop up again and again. Documenting those problems and your solutions as you work through them will make it easier to maintain perspective and learn which ideas were most effective. Over time, this documentation can help shape training and onboarding processes to prevent the problem from happening.
A positive team dynamic can take your team far. An uplifting environment will keep your team engaged and encouraged to cooperate for everyone’s benefit. For more ways to uplift yourself and those around you, read Seven Ways to Uplift the People Around You.