When working with clients, quite often they will tell me about their struggles with their team and there is a distinct pattern when it comes to the challenges they are facing. Here is some of the advice I share with them in order that they can keep their team strong and be successful as an entrepreneur.
Effective communication – Without effective communication, no relationship will succeed. It is so important that you ensure that the lines of communication are open and understood. I have seen more relationships break down simply because of a lack of communication and/or understanding. Conquering this will definitely put you on the road to success with your team.
Why most relationships don’t work – I remember one time someone said to me “your ex-boyfriend is someone else’s husband,” the same is true for building your team. I am a firm believer that most relationships with your team don’t work for one simple reason; they aren’t the person for you. Why? Usually for one of three reasons:
- Ineffective communication – (we’ve addressed this one)
- Lack of skill – they don’t have the skills promised (doing your due diligence with research will help this)
- Personality clash – again back to the boyfriend/husband analogy
How systems play a role – Systems allows you to capture the collective “know-how” of everyone within your business. The most successful businesses are those that any person can jump into any role without concern for not knowing how something is done. Many businesses fail because each person continues to work without sharing how they do things and then when something sudden or unexpected comes along it puts the whole business (or at least that person’s responsibilities) on hold. An absolute must-have for success with a team is a strong set of systems for your business. Of course, if you don’t have systems don’t allow that to preclude you from moving forward with delegation as this may be a very good first task for a team member.
Clarifying expectations and needs – Most of us know what the term assume means and why it is never a good delegation tactic. As you continue to build and grow your team it will be important to never, ever assume anything is understood as there are way too many opportunities for misinterpretation in everything we say. It will be important to the success of your relationship to always take the time to clarify your expectations and needs. Don’t expect the people on your team to be mind-readers. Arm them with everything; the big picture, your vision, your dreams right down to the tiniest of important details. When working with a team there is no such thing as TMI!
The strategy session – As a virtual assistant, one of the best things I implemented in my business was a weekly strategy session. On this call the client and I would go over the following:
- What was completed in the last week
- What outstanding tasks remain
- What the pressing items were for the upcoming week
- Short and long term goals of both parties
- Upcoming events and promotions
Without a doubt, I believe every business owner should have at least weekly meetings with their team to discuss these very things. This will allow you to stay informed and discover and address problems before they grow out of control.
What other struggles do you have with your team? Share in the comments below and I will reply with my best ideas of how to solve these struggles so you can have a strong team too!!