Team Building - Free eBook in PDF Format

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Team Building eBook  

Book Description - ISBN 978-1-62620-987-9 (38 Pages)
Successful team building in the workplace has more to do with making a success of the team you have been given, rather than building an ideal team from scratch. This free eBook explains the core principles of team building that will help you get the best out of any team that you find yourself managing.

Chapter 1 - Team Building in the Workplace
There are certain core principles of team building that will help you get the best out of any team that you find yourself managing.

Chapter 2 - Team Building Principles
Successful team building in the workplace has more to do with applying some key principles to the team you have been given, rather than recruiting 'perfect' team members in order to build an ideal team from scratch.

Chapter 3 - Different Types of Teams
Some organizations use the word 'team' as a collective noun to refer to any group of workers that perform a similar task.

Chapter 4 - Team Building - Project Team Example
In this scenario, you have been with the organization for five years and witnessed its evolution from a traditional water authority to a modern water company. You are currently a team leader and have just been given the responsibility of managing a key IT project for the next twelve months. You are responsible for ensuring that the project is delivered on time and within budget.

Chapter 5 - Team Building - Support Team Example
In this scenario, you have been working in the customer support area for three years and have recently been promoted to Customer Support Manager. You are responsible for ensuring that calls received by the support desk wait no longer than five minutes to be answered and that 90% of issues are resolved on the first call.

Chapter 6 - Team Building - Steering Team Example
In this scenario, you are the Business Development Executive of the water company. Your team's long-term objective is to identify the most profitable business opportunities that are available to the water company following the deregulation of their operations. The legislation removes the restrictions that previously meant that the organization could only sell water services.

You will learn how to apply these principles to:
  • A project team where even though you are not an expert in all of the technical aspects of the project you are still expected to coordinate the team's efforts.
  • A support team where there are problems with motivation and high staff turnover.
  • A high-level strategic team where you do not have any direct authority over the other participants.

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Helped Me Approach Team Building Differently
Although I myself am not a manager, I needed ideas on how to build an effective team. I am in the construction business and I feel that team work is more important in this field than in other conventional businesses. This Team Building book helped me realize what I was doing wrong when building small construction teams, which is why I'd like to thank the publishers. With that said, I didn't necessarily agree with every method mentioned, but since it is a free book, I'm glad that I was still able to take a lot of useful information from it.

One of the common issues I was facing was that my team members were not able to complete their tasks on time. I kept scratching my head over and over again because I picked the best of the best in each department. Whether it was painting, carpentry, or putting up drywall, I made sure I got the best guy in the trade. So it didn't make sense to me when these guys weren't able to perform under pressure. After reading this book, I realized where I had gone wrong. The Team Building book states that it doesn't matter how good team members are at what they do, if they are not guided in the right direction with one common goal, there is no chance of completing the job at hand.

I assumed that since these professionals were good at what they did, they would do exactly that without me having to interfere. However, after going through this book I started giving them clear tasks and a final goal to reach. I noticed that all of a sudden, things started being done the right way and there were fewer altercations between team members. Everyone knew their specific tasks, and they all realized that they were working together to achieve the end result, which in my case is usually constructing or rebuilding homes. This book also taught me that the ideal team size is 6, so I stopped getting 10 or more people on the team.

Another place where I was lacking was leading by example. I'm not proud to even say this, but since I was the contractor who brought all these experts together, I would delegate what they had to do and then leave the site to find new work. This was a bad idea because me not being there was de-motivating for team members. Once I started being present on the construction site every time there was work going on, I noticed a stark difference in everyone's work ethic. The team members were more motivated and were even willing to work longer hours when required. This is because I led by example, as stated in the book, and that paid off. When the team members saw that I was willing to stay longer, they followed suit. Conversely, whenever I used to leave early, so did they.

Lastly, another vital aspect I picked from this book was to value each member's contribution. I previously assumed that there was no need for me to motivate and praise team members because they were already good at what they did. However, a few words of praise really do go a long way. I started having short meetings during work hours to take everyone's input on the work. This not only motivated my team members, but they brought some great ideas to the table and we were often able to complete our work before the deadline. The Team Building book helped me approach matters differently and I recommend it to any professional, whether they are in business administration or any other field.
Dominic Strauss

Avoids Any Mention of 'Team Building Exercises' - Thankfully!
I don't really 'do' management books but I like the ones on this site because they are short enough to read in my lunch break and they are quite practical. I half expected this one to go on about team building exercises and all that stuff that HR people like so much but that everyone else hates. Thankfully, it didn't fall into that trap and it talks about the practical day-to-day things you can do to stop problems from happening in your team. Most of these you are probably doing anyway but it is worth reading this just to make sure.
Jennie C.

So Much Information I Hadn't Even Thought About
I was browsing at the other books on this website trying to update my methods of performing as manager, when I came across this book. After I read the title of this book I thought, "Why did they make a book about team building, isn't that just common sense."? I thought I needed to take a look at the book to make sure I didn't miss anything. I had only intended to skim through the book because I didn't feel that this information would be relevant to me. While I was skimming through the book, one of the graphics caught my eye. The picture was of the four principles of team building.

The first one, define success criteria, I had never thought of and defiantly wasn't implementing. The second principle, lead by example, is something that I try to do on a daily basis. The third principle is value all contributions, which got me thinking, was I doing this? By this point into the book (which was still the beginning of the book) I was really starting to second guess myself. I thought I better spend more time reading this book and less time skimming this book. I moved on to the last principle which is to reward success. After reading the four principals I realized that I was only actively using two out of the four principles. As a team leader, I felt that this was a problem. If I am going to lead my team successfully then I need to be educated on the best methods to do this.

I stopped where I was as in the book and started over so that I could read every word. This was the best step I could have taken. There was so much information listed in this book that I have not even thought about, let alone implemented into my strategies as a manager. I read back to the section of the book that focused on the four principles.

The first principle, define success criteria, seems like it is an easy step to accomplish but is sometimes the hardest. Obviously you need to state what the end goal is. The hard part is making sure you have set a goal that the team can actually accomplish. If it is too extreme and the team doesn't buy into it, they are not going to be motivated to see the project through to the end. Leading by example is a principal that I felt the author of the book could have said less about. I fully understand what it means to lead by example.

The section about valuing all contributions was full of information on how to avoid cliques within a group. This is a part of the book that everyone in the workplace should read. In most group settings, people often group up with other people instead of working on a group project as a whole. I have always wanted to find a way to stop this. I had never thought about the reason that people form sub groups to begin with, and this is probably the reason why I couldn't stop it. Cliques can form when people feel the same about a situation, especially when they feel negative about the situation. As the book states, a way to stop sub groups from forming is to be sure that everyone feels like they are part of the group.

Getting everyone together on a project and letting them have some input in the process is a great way to keep everyone feeling satisfied. The last principle is to reward group success. This was another part of the book that I felt could have been shorter. If you are looking for creative ways to reward your group, then the length of this section will be perfect to you. Not all rewards have to involve money. Sometimes the most satisfying reward is simply recognition. Giving your team a pat on the back can really mean a lot to the members. The book then went on to describe in depth three real scenarios to demonstrate how to effectively use the principles of team building. This last section took up a majority of the book and to me seemed to be repetitive.

I felt that the first half of the book did a perfect job of thoroughly explaining the principles of team building. If you are new in a leadership role then this last section could be very important to you. The scenarios described really gives you a real life look at what you could experience as a leader. When I first came across this book I was a total skeptic. I didn't feel that it could help someone as experienced as I am. I wasn't even sure that there was a need for this book. After reading it, I am a believer that even the most experienced managers could gain by reading this book. Everyone in a management or leadership role, whether a newbie or a veteran, will benefit by reading this book.
Lana Moody


Controlling or Eliminating the Worst Interruptions - Are you plagued by the destructive nature of interruptions? Then these four simple interruption screens could help you perform more efficiently. Your effectiveness and success depends on your ability to apply and implement such screens that enable you to be productive without alienating your customers, team members or colleagues.

Understanding Why Teams Underperform - Understanding the different factors that contribute to your team's level of satisfaction is a significant part of your management role. In many instances you will need to focus on minimizing their dissatisfaction and recognize that this is a continual process. This is because what was satisfying yesterday is now seen as part of the 'package' so no longer has a positive influence.

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