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Building and Leading a Cohesive Team

Building and Leading a Cohesive Team

Teamwork is a term and concept engrained in us our entire lives starting in early childhood, and while most everyone has been a part of a team, not everyone is versed in understanding what it takes to make teamwork happen. At Gulf Winds, teamwork is a vital part of our company culture and is reflected in our values of Humility, Integrity, Compassion, Stewardship and Excellence. Our focus in these areas has led us to incredible individuals who help drive success within our organization and leaders who not only talk the talk but walk the walk each day. This is evident in our multi-year recognition as a Top Workplace in Houston and the USA. In addition to Top Workplace, we have also received cultural excellence awards in Innovation, Leadership, Purpose + Values, and Compensation + Benefits. Below is a short guide we’ve put together to help build and lead a cohesive team based on real-life experiences and proven success.  

The most important principle when it comes to building a successful team is communication. When you think you are communicating at the highest level and giving your team everything they need to know, step it up a bit more. Team members appreciate open, honest communication and staying in the loop on items they deem important. Communication is not a one-way street from the leader; ask for open communication in return from your team members. This communication produces connection that cannot be overlooked.  

Along with communication, another important principle to instill in your team is vulnerability. As a leader, you need to create an environment where your team members have a safe space to speak up, make mistakes, tap into their passions, take risks, and know they are still valued despite challenges and failures they may face. Brene Brown says this about vulnerability in her book, Daring Greatly, “When learningand working are dehumanized-when you no longer see us and no longer encourage our daring, or when you only see what we produce or how we perform-we disengage and turn away from the very things that the world needs from us: our talent, our ideas, and our passion.” Work cannot be void of personalities, passions and risks, in fact, trying to work without those is the biggest risk of all. 

Lastly, but certainly not least, is feedback. While feedback can sometimes be difficult, we need feedback on a regular basis. Positive feedback can keep a team motivated, but constructive feedback will make a team stronger. As a leader, create a culture where feedback is given daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. Feedback sessions do not always have to be formal, but you should set aside dedicated time with each team member throughout the year for team feedback and managerial feedback as well.  

You can quickly see communication, vulnerability, and feedback are not one without the other. A high-functioning, cohesive team will equally participate in all three principles modeled by a strong leader who will set the expectation for all team members. It is important to remember a team is made up of individuals with their own unique talents and experiences and when working together cohesively, the outcome is limitless.

Guest Author: Candace Diggs, VP of Customer Service
Brought to you by: Gulf Winds  

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