To be effective, a team must have a meaningful reason for being together. It is this element that provides the “fuel” for the team and moves them forward. It also provides the passion that is necessary to keep the team inspired and energized.
It is the role of the team leader to work with the group to create a vision for the team. In doing so, consider the following:
- What is the reason for the existence of the team?
- Where is the team headed?
- How will the team get there?
Consider the following story…
Two workers were hammering on a piece of granite with a sledgehammer. When asked what he was doing, the first worker said, “I’m trying to crack this granite.”
When asked the same question, the second worker said, I’m part of a team building a cathedral.”
Excellent visions both inspire and guide.
Creating your vision
You can work with your staff team to create your “vision.” Your vision statement should be brief. You can define your team’s purpose in one or two sentences. Perhaps you only need a few key words.
In the book, Breakthrough Teams for Breakneck Times, by Lisa Gundry & Laurie LaMantia, they state the importance of creating a shared vision and purpose that incorporates each member’s unique perspectives and abilities. The vision for the team should be a synthesis of the member’s collective visions and expertise. Creating this vision is a process of merging and combining, then deciding and eliminating. Begin by considering all the possibilities and individual visions, give each of them careful thought, combine them, and merge the perspectives before deciding to eliminate any one. Co-creating a shared vision is a great first step to establishing respect among team members.
The idea vision statement is:
- Aligned with Residence Life values
- Linked to the needs of your residents
- Challenging, but not impossible
The vision statement should do two major things:
- It should serve as a source of inspiration for your team.
- It should guide your team’s efforts and decision-making
Work with your staff team to consider the following:
- What kind of staff team do we want to be?
- What do we want others to say about our staff team and the work we do?
- What values are important to us?
- How will our vision represent the interest of our residents?
Implementation: Once you’ve got it…flaunt it!
Once you develop your staff team’s vision statement, make it visible. Put it on meeting agendas, on newsletters, on staff shirts, in your office, etc. Your team needs to see this vision statement again and again and again. It should serve as a source of inspiration to the team.
Beyond visibility, consider your vision statement as you work as a team throughout the year. Are the decisions that you are making and programs that you are implanting in line with your vision?
Set your vision and use it as a guiding tool throughout the year. Much success with your team building efforts!
Note: The content for this article is excerpted from a self directed training course entitled: The Road to Success: Training for Entry Level Hall Directors.
For information on the other components of this course, and additional information on how you can learn more about building a strong, high performing team, check out our subscription services.
Submitted by Kim Moistner-Bartlett, Partner, Reslife.Net