7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Team

Your business may have many individual geniuses, but if they don't work together as a team, all that genius just goes to waste.

That's why when creating your business plan you should not only use a business plan template, but get your key employees involved. Your business plan can help get your company's biggest asset, its employees, working together as a positive and productive force.

Building and managing a strong team means knowing all your team members and working with them first on a personal level, and then as a part of a unit under your care. In order to make your business successful, you must effectively harness the talent represented in your workforce. The process of accomplishing this has fewer steps than you think, but it's important to know them all. Here are the key ones:

  1. Constructive Communication - If your team doesn't know what is required of them, how can they be expected to deliver consistently and maintain high quality standards? By giving them an idea of the direction the business wants to head in, and then boiling down to the finer details of day-to-day operations, you are making it easier for your team to remain focused on their goal. In this regard, it is important to develop and let your employees know the mission of your organization and its vision.
  2. Listening Skills - Now that you've communicated what the business requires of your team, you need to listen to their feedback and requirements too. And rather than keeping it all-business always, try and inject a human touch by being a good listener when your team wants to express their ideas or vent their emotions. Every bit of communication from them will help you understand them better. Importantly, by listening to your employees and showing you care, they will become more motivated and their productivity will increase.
  3. Team Feedback & Recognition - Leading your team will require you to ensure the members meet company standards. If their performance is not up-to-the-mark, you need to reinforce their goals in a positive manner. Positive feedback is perhaps more important than corrective ones because any team would be happy to learn they are performing well and be more motivated to continue in their good efforts.
  4. Joint Effort - It is crucial to maintain a balance in the ecosystem of your team members. A lot of factors create a winning formula, such as delegating and evenly distributing work, encouraging supportive moves of a team member in order to help another, and giving credit on an individual and team level. Importance of the team's contributions to business growth should be stressed time and again. A team which receives both the good and the bad feedback together tends to feel more unified and make more effort for the others in the team rather than just themselves.
  5. Manage Conflicts - Problems between team members are inevitable. Their severity depends on various factors, but often, the longer the feuds run, the more bitter they become. Bad blood between two members can spill over to the rest of the team, making it a large scale problem too. Without being heavy-handed, try to diffuse difficult situations, especially if they stem from purely professional differences. Personal issues may not be that easy to handle, but containing the problem and maintaining good team spirit despite all of it should be the main goal.
  6. Coaching - A team lead/manager should have adequate knowledge to guide the team on technical aspects, along with being generally supportive in all professional matters. Organizing regular training and development events for your employees will benefit both them and your business. If formal training isn't possible then consider mentoring or allowing newer employees to shadow more experienced ones.
  7. Flexibility - A typical business plan includes details of how, where, when, and who would work for the company. But with changing times, most employees really appreciate flexibility in terms of where and when. People who are encouraged to be at their best without applying undue pressure on them are often the best performers.

The methods to get the most out of your team are not particularly expensive, but do require time and effort on the management's part. Adding these details to a business plan will only make it more comprehensive and beneficial for the business.

3 min read

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

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Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.


Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.

I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!

- The Armchair Psychologist

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