How to build an effective team?

Team management is one of the important skills of a modern employee, which is valued by many companies. Without team management skills, it is impossible to build an effective business and build communication processes. We asked several questions to experts from various fields about how to effectively manage a team in the IT sphere, what skills are necessary for management, and management techniques.

What skills are needed to build an effective team?

Emotional component plays a big role in team management: taking care of the mental health of employees, the ability to hear, as well as to understand in time whether an employee is “burned out” — these are some of the key skills of a modern manager. This is confirmed by Liz Clifton, Calm Coach and Leadership Mentor, Founder of Family Dog Connection Limited and take34u:

«To build an effective team you need to have clear, calm, connected, confidence and communication skills. Which include active listening, self-awareness, self-understanding, self-forgiveness, how to ask for and receive open honest feedback, how to shift your perspective, how to process your emotions, how to create a positive supportive environment to promote creativity, flexibility, adaptation and growth for both individuals and a team.»

Another expert, Joe Jotkowitz, Communication Consultant, Executive Coach, Facilitator, Trainer at The Executive Advisory, takes a slightly different view, prioritizing technical skills but not denying the usefulness of communication skills:

«I think technical skills are obvious. However, experience has shown that those are usually a given. The skills that I find missing most when building an effective team are around transparency, communication, and coachability. I find technical people tend to prefer black and white; however, when discussing team and team dynamics, it’s filled with people not binary numbers. Therefore, there is a lot of gray area.»

 

Can an effective team be remote?

A couple of years ago, our lives changed globally: the transition to remote working forced many companies to rethink their approach to team management. For a long time, everyone learned to work independently of the office, to get used to time differences, and to communicate online. Now some are back in the office, and some prefer a hybrid format of work. However, this experience – the experience of managing a distributed team – has undoubtedly given a lot to people. 

Christopher Thoma, Team Lead & Head of Media | CareerAddict, points out the effectiveness of a remote team:

«I’ve managed a remote team of 15+ people since the pandemic began. Through effective communication, delegation and task management, along with providing team members with some needed autonomy, motivation and responsibility, they can thrive more so than in a traditional office/work environment. We’ve seen productivity and results increase when you can give staff who prefer the flexibility of a remote setting the structure, mindset and tools to achieve more.»

 

Methods for building and managing a team

We know that IT specialists like to learn and learn new things. That’s why many companies have corporate universities, internal libraries, training at the company’s expense, various seminars and team building events. Regular training increases team effectiveness, as Vit Koval, Co-founder at Globy, says:

«In IT, team building and management techniques should incorporate regular knowledge-sharing sessions, agile methodologies, and a culture that values continuous learning. Encouraging a collaborative environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas fosters innovation and adaptability, essential traits in the rapidly evolving IT landscape.»

Joe adds:

«In addition, acclimating people to culture and team using an assimilation exercise can be extremely beneficial and ramp up the interpersonal learning curve. Also, discussing how the team will approach and manage conflict and disagreement is a valuable conversation to have before it happens.»

 

How does team building in IT differ from other fields?

Interesting techniques are suggested by Liz. As we mentioned above, the emotional component plays a big role in the life of a team, so you should not neglect going to a psychologist or talking about your workload:

«Stress and emotional release practices to clear away any historic tensions, frustrations, hurt, sadness and guilt from the team as individuals and as a whole.

Followed by clear communication and connection activities such as active listening skills and workshops to explore the different types of communication styles that people use.

Because once everybody understands them they can start to see where they are at the moment and how they want to shift and improve their own personal communication and connection skills.

Then from there they can choose the best ways to connect with each and every member of the team too. 

Completing these activities as individuals and also as a whole team can help the results to be deeper, more open, authentic and honest and then support a really connected team environment full of support for themselves and each other.»


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