What makes a good team? What allows many unique individuals to work well together to achieve a common goal? What would you say is the most important part of building a truly successful team? How about investing in relationships? There are a lot of components that allow a team to thrive, but one of the most important aspects is connecting with each other and investing in each valuable member. Here are four simple ways to connect with others through an easy to remember acronym: T.E.A.M.:
Time Well Spent
Acts of Service
So, what do each of these mean, and how can you apply them in the workplace with your team members? As you can guess, not everyone is made to be exactly alike; we have all been created by God to be unique, to fulfill different roles, to accomplish different goals, and yet somehow, we are all made for community, to be connected to others. So how can we achieve working on a team in harmony with people who are so different from us? It helps to know what makes people feel most appreciated and cared about. Similarly to the 5 Love Languages, the four points of T.E.A.M. work to seek out what makes people feel most valued, and how we can use that knowledge to invest in the relationships of our team.
Time Well Spent
For team members who need quality time to feel valued, activities like one-on-one get-togethers or meetings can be a very successful way to connect. Knowing that you are available to them in this way will benefit their work on your team! Make sure that when you set aside time for people who need quality time, you don’t become distracted as this may lead to hurting that person.
For your teammates who need to be encouraged to feel appreciated, words can go a long way. Making a point to shoot a word of praise over to a member who thrives on encouragement will help that person to feel confident that they are doing a good job. When you need to confront this type of team member, make sure that criticism is constructive and approached gently, as it may be perceived as an insults or personal attack.
Acts of Service
This is a tough one! As a leader of a team, it is often your job to delegate tasks to your members, giving them each different responsibilities. It can be challenging to come alongside everyone who needs acts of service to feel valued by taking on their responsibilities – so find a way to serve your team members outside of the workplace, furthering the relationship in that respect. As a teammate, connecting with people who love acts of service by helping them with a busy workload can be an effective way to grow your relationship. Make sure that if you commit to help someone who feels cared about by acts of service, you follow through on that commitment; if you don’t, it can be quite offensive.
Most people who appreciate and connect by receiving gifts aren’t looking for a wad of cash! A token of appreciation like paid time off, or a small, meaningful gift can be an effective way to motivate your team member and show your appreciation. These types of members thrive on tangible, meaningful things to know they are doing a good job, and that their work is valued. Be sure to give credit where credit is due to these team members; if passed over for a responsibility or role they may feel they earned or deserved, it could cause some hurt feelings.
All-in-all, we know that everyone is different, and appreciates different ways of affirmation. Not all of your team members may fit into this mold of T.E.A.M. but it doesn’t hurt to try connecting in these intentional ways. So let us know how you’ve impacted your team members, or, how someone has made you feel valued and appreciated!