Saturday, May 12, 2012

Strong relationships = strong teams

This year has been a year of growth, failure, and intense transition for me. It would however be difficult to narrow down the exact moments and circumstances that have helped mold and shape who I am as an educator. One thing is for sure, I have grown increasingly certain of the role that strong relationships play in the success and forward moving progress of any team.

As an administrator, I see myself as one of the main contributors & influencers on how well our teams function & operate. Constructing teams in a way that they can be successful, is perhaps one of the most important roles any administrator or team leader can have. I thoroughly enjoyed the "5 monkeys parable" (which I highly recommend you read) shared by @clouducation_. The success & strength of any team is reliant upon a couple factors, but it's one factor that rules them all....


A team with strong relationships among its members, will be a team that has the ability and power to overcome even the most difficult obstacles. Though there may be differences between our professional beliefs and our personal, it has become increasingly difficult to completely separate the two. Additionally, I see the importance of constantly evaluating the effectiveness of our teams. A team that is not achieving what it was established to achieve, must be changed, modified, or completely dissolved. We are all busy, so let's make the best use of everyone's time.

Mindsets that help teams:

- Teams are personal, but there are no hard feelings or grudges after a disagreement
- The proper personnel are involved, and the necessary resources and time are provided
- The focus remains on the big picture and the team does not waste time on the smaller issues
- The team comes with an agenda and is prepared to discuss controversial topics
- Decisions are made based on the best people and the majority
- Great teams are always open and willing to try new ideas for the sake of improving

Mindsets that hurt teams:

- Every discussion or disagreement is taken personally
- Something cannot be improved or changed due to limited personnel / resources / time...etc
- Remaining focused on smaller less important issues that don't affect the big picture
- Spending too much time on a topic that the team is obviously not ready or prepared to discuss
- Making decisions based upon the exceptions or the minority
- Not being transparent and open to other ways of doing things

Teams with strong relationships will be able to overcome any disabling mindsets that would negatively affect the forward moving progress of the team. When teams are built upon trust, open collaboration, and a shared common focus, teams are better able to address the organization's needs. Focus on establishing strong relationships with your team members and members of your organization, and you will be well on your way to achieving strong results among your teams...