Get Your Team on the Same Page

The importance of teamwork cannot be overstated when it comes to concluding a project successfully. If your team isn’t working together, with each member on the same page at all times, you’re in for a catastrophe. You might think that teamwork comes naturally, and to some extent that’s true. However, as the project manager, it’s just as important that you take some specific steps to ensure that your team members get on and stay on the same page for the duration of the project.
Regular Team Meetings
No one relishes the thought of spending time that could otherwise be put to use working on the project sitting around a meeting room. However, despite their lack of popularity, meetings are important tools. They can help facilitate a number of different things, including ensuring that your team members are on the same page. Additionally, they can also be invaluable for helping members of the team voice concerns or talk about problem areas from their perspective. This not only builds teamwork, but helps you avoid potential pitfalls with your project.
Scheduling meetings can be somewhat difficult to do, but a little forethought can go a long way here. First, make sure that you schedule your meetings when it’s doable for the majority of your team members, and it doesn’t interrupt critical tasks. Consider holding a meeting during lunch (and providing lunch for your team so they don’t feel like they’ve been bilked out of their time). You might also consider holding meetings in locations other than the boardroom. Your local coffee shop or café might be an ideal choice.
Listen to Your Team Members
One of the leading causes for teamwork dissolution is a lack of active listening on the project manager’s part. If you’re unable to listen to your team members, it will affect everything from morale to the ways in which your team members interact. Remember that you set the tone for the entire project. If a team member sees that you’re not really listening, they’ll take that example to heart. It’s vital that your team members listen to suggestions and alternatives offered by other members of the team, but if they’re following your lead, that won’t happen.
To help encourage active listening, speak to team members in a semi-private location. This ensures that there aren’t other distractions to pull your attention away from what they’re saying. It also helps to realize that whatever it is they feel they must communicate, it’s of obvious importance, at least to them. That makes it important to your project, whether you think so or not. Be willing and able to listen to your team members when they have something to say.
With regular meetings and a willingness to listen to what your team members have to say, you’ll go a long way toward ensuring that your project is more successful than would otherwise be possible. You’ll keep team members on the same page, bolster morale and enhance project value.

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