Tips for Building a Successful Team - By Nicole Attias

Operating a business as a sole proprietor is quite different from working with a team of staff. The transition from one to the other can be painful. Doing what you've always known will no longer help you to advance to the next level. Adopting new methodologies might, depending on their effectiveness. Building a successful team of associates is partially about planning and partially about trial and error. A certain amount of risk is necessary before you get it right.

1. Trusting your team:

In order to let go of what you have always done, you must risk the possibility of trusting the wrong people. John might appear sincere, but is really out to profit from your network of contacts or your level of experience and openness. Jane might begin her relationship with you as genuine, and then learn to do what you do on her own shortly afterwards. Trusting your team involves taking a "calculated" risk. Always ask yourself what you would like to gain from others and how your relationships can be a win-win scenario. Assess their personality types. Look for proper values before making any decisions. Take your time.

2. Adapting to their individual work styles:

While you have always done things "your way", this rule may or may not apply to others. Stepping over others because it is difficult to "let go" is frustrating for team members because they feel short-changed in their abilities. It also makes you appear like a control-freak who doesn't trust anyone else to do the job. Perhaps no one will do the job as good as you, but training is part of the process. Again, risk is involved.

3. Providing positive reinforcement:

Everyone needs to feel important and like they are doing a good job. Motivation comes from ongoing praise. Lack of motivation results from little positive feedback or too many negative comments. Focus on what others do "right." Take the time to say "thank you", or "what a great job." Take your staff out to lunch once in a while. Show them that you appreciate their efforts, and encourage them to share.
Nicole Attias & Associates, Office: Canada 416-221-0817, Fax: 416-733-2491

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