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16 Essential Team Building Skills

Essential team-building skills are necessary for every company, no matter what aspect of the industry they cover. When we develop proper team building skills in ourselves and each other, we can recognize their importance and utilize them in the day-to-day. When we share the same skills and can count on each other as a team, we increase our chances for recognition, promotion, and payoff.

Below is a curated list of the 16 essential team building skills.

Table of Contents

16 Essential Team Building Skills

  • Delegation
  • Motivation
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Reliability
  • Empathy
  • Goal Setting and Role Assigning
  • Listening
  • Reflecting
  • Matchmaking
  • Giving and Getting Feedback 
  • Organization 
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Time Management

Delegation

When it comes to building a good team, we understand that expertise is important but what really matters is the united help of others to really accomplish our goals. Proper delegation makes teams and projects move more efficiently, ensuring that everyone can tackle their tasks. If you want to be a great team builder, you need to be able to delegate individual responsibilities in a concise fashion that is clear to everyone.

If you really want to maintain a good team, you should:

  • Delegate tasks based on personal expertise and ability
  • Create achievable goals
  • Be open and transparent with expectation
  • Provide useful feedback

Motivation

You will notice that the more excited your team is about a certain project, the more engaged they will be in getting that project accomplished. This level of encouragement will improve every facet of the team, from the quality of the work to the stability of morale. Motivation is extremely important because it is something that can be implemented every step of the way. Motivation can come from holding a positive attitude to providing positive feedback to giving incentives for a job well done. Anything as small as an email can lift someone’s mood and brighten their day.

Teamwork

If you want to construct a good team then you have to be a part of that team. If you want your team to be filled with great team members, then you need to be a great team member. Showcase the attributes you are looking for. Wear the attitude that you want to see in others. Generate cooperation, reliability, quality, strength. Be aware of the team and your words, and take responsibility for your decisions. Be transparent and open and you will see that reflected back at you.

Leadership

You will have to take charge if you are the leader of your team. You need to clearly establish the team’s goals, be open to feedback, and solve issues and prevent obstacles. You need to be the decision-maker. If you want to be a great leader, you need to be versed in communication, creative thinking, time management, and communication. The more open you are, the better leader you will become.

Problem Solving

When issues arise, they need to be solved. Problem solving is chief to proper team building, from handling personal conflicts to issues that arise in the team’s goals. Addressing issues is important for the team builder because it ensures that the group can accomplish its set objectives. You need to be able to analyze problems, develop solutions, resolve conflicts, prevent foreseeable issues, and adapt to oncoming challenges. If you can steadily solve problems as they arise you will find that weathering the storms of your team will become easier and easier.

Communication

Communication is the bread and butter of any good team. Strong communication greases the wheels of any project and allows us to express concepts and goals to one another in clear, understandable ways. We need both verbal and written communication to establish our goals and end conflicts, and when it comes to being an effective communicator, a big part of that is being a good listener.

When communicating with your team, try and remember to always be clear and concise. Pay attention to social, nonverbal, and facial cues. Keep hold of your body language and what you are projecting. Make sure your team understands that you and they are on the same page, and when you aren’t, don’t just fly off the handle. Good communication results in great accomplishments.

Reliability

If you’re a manager or team leader, I’m sure you have some experience with employees who are reliable and those who aren’t. You need to be able to build a team that can trust one another, but you also need a team that can handle their own guidance. Team members want to be considered reliable, but you have to honor them with freedom, respect, and space. 

To show that you are a reliable team leader, you should take ownership of the things you are responsible for. You should help others, and be easy with your assistance. You should factor into the group and be there when they need you. And when it comes to tasks, show them how you want them done and the team will follow.

Empathy

What should be at the very top of the list in any group is the necessity for empathy. Empathy lets you understand the feelings of those around you, and it lets you appreciate their motives and points of view. When you understand others you are provided invaluable insights into the way they think and what they struggle with, which enhances your communication skills.

Empathy is established by seeing things as others see them, by asking questions that clear up their point of view, by actively listening to what they say, and by acting on the things you’ve learned.

Goal Setting and Role Assigning

Everyone wants to know where they fit in, and where they belong. Your team is made up of people with all sorts of skills, experiences, and needs, and the mark of being a great leader is knowing where everyone fits. To properly handle this, you need empathy, communication, and good leadership skills. Assigning both a goal for your team and goals for individuals produces clarity and reduces confusion.

Make sure your entire team understands their role and what they are bringing to the table. The more you can reduce confusion, the easier it will be for your to accomplish your goals and finish projects. Think of it as increasing the harmony of the entire group. Everybody wants to fit in, but more importantly, they want to know how they fit. It’s up to you to make sure they know.

Listening

We can talk about active listening as much as we want, but how many of us actually engage in it? Actively listening means many things. It means not interrupting others, repeating phrases for clarity, asking questions, being conscious of your tone, and reading body language. Active listening means quieting your thoughts while other people are talking, and thinking about what they said and how they said it.

When we don’t listen to one another, we just get frustrated. If your team members think you don’t listen to them they won’t feel comfortable coming to you with issues. Your team will shut down and you’ll notice a rift between you and your team members. If you want to generate positive active listening for everyone, then you need to be at the heart of it.

Reflecting

Self-awareness is an important facet of communication that’s difficult for many people to talk about. You have to be able to identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and you need to be open about your mistakes. You don’t have to tell everyone how much you “suck” or say “everything is my fault” but you do need to be honest about any arising issues. Your team members don’t want to be belittled, and they also don’t want to listen to someone being a hypocrite. Your criticisms and your praises should reflect a personal self-awareness that benefits the entire team.

When your team is self-aware, they will speak more openly and increase communication. If your team is reflective in both their behaviors and assessments, they will be able to sidestep conflicts with ease. Holding honest, open group conversations will result in a friendlier work environment. You should be able to analyze not only yourself and your team members, but the team as a working unit. Proper self-awareness allows you to see things within your team that would otherwise stay invisible to you.

Matchmaking

Your group wants to experience friendly cohesion. When it comes to topics, games, activities, events, and subjects, plan things that connect people together. You can strengthen the bond of your team and make sure that everyone is getting along.

Beyond simply setting out the roles for your team, you need to know how individuals work together. Matchmaking is an all-too-important skill because it allows you to build patterns within your team that will strengthen the members. Think of it like building links in a chain. The more links, the stronger the bond. Things such as team building games will enhance and polish this bond.

Team building games and events are something everyone can participate in and will naturally show off the strengths of your group.

Giving and Getting Feedback 

Feedback can be scary. We don’t all like receiving it, and we don’t all like giving it. Regardless, feedback is an essential part of your team, and as the team leader, you need to be giving it as much as you are receiving it. This sort of evaluation will enhance your team and the individuals within it.

We need to exist in a place of mindfulness while getting feedback. Sometimes the criticisms we receive may be difficult to hear, especially if feedback is being done in a group setting, but if handled in a place free of judgment it can be a huge benefit. Good feedback is a growth opportunity, one for both individuals and the entire team. Feedback is how we establish trust, and (within reason) our feedback should be candid and thoughtful. If you can construct a good trust within your team you will find that more people feel open to delivering feedback that benefits everyone.

Organization

Sometimes the task of organization can be a little exhausting. You may feel like you have a bathtub full of ducks and are just pushing them around, herding them into one cohesive group. Your team members all have deadlines, goals, schedules, needs, and they need someone to pay attention to it all.

There are several ordering tools that help you organize, and you might not be properly using them. From Slack to Discord to Google Calendar, it’s important that you keep your organization organized. Build upon the communication you have by properly relying on the technology at your disposal. 

Regardless of your preferred structure, make sure that you establish a working system and adhere to that system. You can even tell the team about your system and what you do to keep things organized. Your transparency might reveal some amazing results and suggestions.

Conflict Resolution

Ideally, you want to prevent issues from happening before they happen. Sometimes conflict cannot be avoided, and it is up to you to handle it. Resolving conflict is a hugely important aspect of your job as team leader. Remember, disagreements happen, and they aren’t bad by their very nature. You want to establish varied perspectives among your team, but some healthy moderation is in order.

Resolving conflict means identifying the issue, considering what has contributed to the issue, thinking about solutions to the issue, compromising on the issue, and agreeing on its outcome. Disagreement is actually healthy, and even if you have a team of advanced trust level there are going to be disagreements big and small. How you handle it is what matters.

These conflict resolution team building activities can benefit any team looking to establish trust and communication with each other.

Time Management

Piggybacking off organization is time management. Strong managerial skills is the ability to actively move through the day, order your team’s goals, and help them track their deadlines. Prioritizing tasks is a huge part of the necessity of a team leader because it’s way too easy to get absorbed in something and fall off track. Managing deadlines, balancing assignments, and keeping track of how long it takes to reach goals will make everything easier in the long run and will stabilize your group’s environment.

Why Are Team Building Skills Important?

Team building is more than a skill that applies to corporations or industries, it’s an important skill that runs the gamut of life necessity and is useful everywhere. The skills that are gained through proper team building are applicable in many situations and organizations. They increase productivity and quality of life. Team building skills are useful in every position and at every tier of your business, and employers are increasingly desiring everything that comes with team building. 

From organization to active listening to problem-solving to leadership, these 16 essential team building skills will greatly benefit your office life if you take them to heart and use them well. Team building skills are hugely necessary for the flow of your office and will make life better for everyone.

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