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Become a team

In the beginning you might call you a team, but you most like are not a "real" team yet.

Here are some things I made to create the team feeling. Some sound funny but they are really efficient.

Create a team name and logo

No matter what kind of team/department you are, IT, Research or Facility management, create a unique name,
can be funny, serious whatever. Sure you can call yourself your organziation name like: "Marketing" but that is boring.
Animal names work great or wild combinations. And then use that name as an acronym for a longer name.
Made up example "tiger" for your IT department/team becomes "The It Gets Everything Running".
Now pick a logo, use the design department for a favour, get creative, maybe someone in the team is an artist.
Comic style works best and don't steal other's work.

Use the team name and logo everywhere

On every place that you can, use the team name or logo. On your office door, get a print of the logo and hang it on your wall,
use it in meetings where other teams are present. Use it in presentation where possible. You get the point

There are no individual members in the team

Always refer yourself as a team, don't use individuals, don't be an indivdual.
What does it mean?
Lets say you have monthly meetings where you tell your progress or similar.
Don't do "Person A archived X", do "The tiger team achived X". You are a member of the team, you did not archive it, the
team did. Even if only one person did it.
Also on the opposite if something broke: "The tiger team broke the coffee machine, sorry about that".
Sure for a person it might sound better if their archivement is announced but they feel a lot better if you don't tell that
he/she broke the coffee machine.
And if they don't fear to blamed, they will tell you things that just broke or are about to break (not just coffee machine), but
deadline, obstangles of any kind or similar. But to make this work, be there for them!

Make fun of the team name and play with stereotypes

Lets say you picked an animal name for your team, someone comes in and tells you the common thing: "uuh the air is wasted, open a window",
reply with something: "This is an animal cage, what do you expect?" (and then open the window!). Or "I know, be glad we didnt' mark our
territory!". Be funny when appropiete but don't do it on the expense of individuals. When you have your leading established that
your team members see you as a part of the team, not the zoo warden, they will most likely like that.

If possible, share break time with your team

This does not apply to every team member, some will like it, some not. But at least try to share some break time with your team members.
But be warned, they must be comfortable with it. If they see you as the "boss that spies on them", they won't feel good about it.
If you established their trust, see other articles about it, they will be open and won't feel threatend when you go to the burger
place for lunch and tell you things a "normal" lead will not hear. But you need self discipline for that. Try to keep the topics in the break
time for yourself, don't use the information without asking the person.
If you see that one of the team member has an work related issue, talk to them in private and ask if you can/should help, don't take actions on your own.
If you are there for them, they most likely speak or ask about it on their own.
And never ever talk to others about things you heard during those breaks.

Also connect with other teams

Again, if possible, encourage your team members to spend time with collegues from other teams, even if they don't work together.
Don't try to isolate them. Also try to spend time with other team members yourself. But again, don't abuse their trust.

Previous article: What's your real job as a team lead
Next article: Become a better team lead: do favours

Photo by Natalie Pedigo on Unsplash

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