The job of every IT manager is to find ways to use your IT manager skills to get the most productive work out of your team. However, your team is made up of a group of very diverse individuals – they really don’t have a lot to do with each other. What this means is that being an IT manager is much more than just telling people what to do, it’s convincing them to work together to accomplish a goal. I don’t believe that there is any IT manager training that can teach us how to do this. Before you can make this happen, you’re going to have to build a team…
What’s Wrong With Today’s Team Building
Team building is not something new. However, the ways that it is done today more often than not does not achieve its goals. The reasons for this are many; however, interviews with people who have attended building exercises have revealed some common factors. In a number of cases the building exercises had nothing to do with the company’s culture. In other cases the exercise placed staff in situations that they found either embarrassing or uncomfortable.
What a lot of our current building exercises are missing is an understanding of just exactly what we are trying to accomplish. The purpose behind making an investment in a building exercise is that you want to boost both communication within your team and camaraderie within your team.
Any building exercise is only going to last for a brief period of time. When it’s over the staff who participated in it will be going back to their offices. These offices may be located anywhere on the globe or everyone may already be part of the same office. As an IT manager, you are going to want to see improvement in how everyone works together once they’ve participated in the team building exercise.
How To Go About Building Teams The Right Way
So if we can all agree that it is easy to go about trying to do team building the wrong way, then what becomes most important is finding ways to go about doing this type of activity the right way. A lot of this starts with having you understand that within your team, there will always be people who don’t want to participate. Whatever exercise you do, you’ll need to make sure that it appeals to them and draws them in.
The team building exercises that your team is involved in need to reflect your company’s culture. You need to keep in mind that a team building exercise may be one of the few times that the various team members have to work side-by-side with each other. This means that you need to use this opportunity to have the exercise to allow them to discover things about each other such as how they prefer to make decisions. The thinking is that after the team building exercise is over, this information will allow everyone to work together more closely.
When you understand that in order for your team to work together smoothly, they need to understand how each other thinks and feels. The purpose of any team building exercise has to be to place the members of your team into a situation where they can’t succeed by themselves. Instead, they need to rely on others to achieve a goal. This may be a new situation for many of them, but developing this kind of skill is critical to showing your team how they can be successful by working together.
What All Of This Means For You
As an individual IT manager there is only so much that you can get done in a given day. If you are able to get the people who work for you to cooperate and work as a team, then you’ll be able to accomplish a lot more. It’s creating this team that can be the real challenge…
A lot of what passes as IT team building today does not accomplish what it is intended to do: build a team. There are a lot of different reasons for this but the most common ones are that the team building that was done had nothing to do with what the company does or that it made the people participating feel embarrassed. IT managers are finding new ways to engage their team members in team building activities. These new methods tap into pop culture and are more likely to draw all members of the time into the exercise.
As an IT manager you are not going to be effective if you don’t have a team to manage. Trying to manage a collection of individuals will be too hard and will consume too much of your time. Instead, you need to take the time to find the right team building exercises that will cause your collection of individuals to fuse into a smoothly working team. Yes, this will take time to do correctly; however, it can be done and the results are well worth it!
Dr. Jim Anderson
“America’s #1 Unforgettable Business Communication Skills Coach”
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Dr. Jim Anderson understands what it is like to both work in an IT department as an employee as well as a manager. Dr. Anderson is willing to share with you his 20+ years of experience in order to explain how to attract, motivate, and retain top IT staff.
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