Motivational Series – Part 3: Team Motivation

When building and maintaining teams, there are several things one must consider:
1. Creating the right environment for a team
2. Providing the proper support for the team
3. Bringing the right people together for the team

Environment is vitally important for many reasons. First of all, think about the damage that the wrong environment can do. Have you ever worked in a “blame” environment where you can’t make mistakes, people are afraid of everyone around them and no one is willing to take a risk. This is acidic to the development of an effective team. Some of the most damaging variables are things like blame, shame, guilt, jealousy, envy, and extreme levels of individual competitiveness.
So what can you do? Start by creating a feeling of trust, honesty, respect and a willingness to collaborate and share ideas. This requires strong relationships amongst internal and external stakeholders of your work community. In addition to that you need to facilitate ongoing, open communication at all levels of the organization. This will set the stage for effective team development.

Support for the Team:
Teams don’t develop by accident. They need help starting, building and maintaining. What support can you provide for a team? The key roles you will need to provide are that of a coach, facilitator, and mentor. Ultimately, these roles need to combine in such a way that enables the team.
Simple next steps:

  1. When you see someone doing something good, provide immediate feedback. Tell them what they’re doing right and how it helps.
  2. When you see someone struggling in their work, use it as an opportunity to pull alongside them and provide some positive coaching.  Try to coach by asking more questions and not simply providing answers. It’s very important for the individual to try and discover the answers on their own with your helpful guidance.
  3. Teams need to spend a great deal of time collaborating. This often means difficult meetings, discussions, and problems solving. Try to support this by providing facilitation when you think it’s needed. Positive facilitation can go a long way in the development of a team.
  4. Teams consist of individuals that are constantly growing, changing and learning. Their personal development and competency will often require hands-on mentoring. At times this will mean your direct involvement. At other times, this may simply result in you finding someone else to provide the needed mentoring

Bringing the Right People Together:
When it comes to bringing the right people together, no one can say it better than the international guru on team development, Dr. Belbin. Belbin suggests that personality type can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of a team and that you need to balance a team with different types. For Belbin’s insights go to

If you can get all of these things right, you will be miles ahead of the competition in creating and maintaining the best teams!

Larry Barnard

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