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    There’s no ‘I’ in team: or is there?

    Effective teamwork is a vital component of building a successful real estate business, yet without individual characters and their varying personalities there would be no team! Does that sound confusing?

    Unfortunately, team orientation can often come at the expense of the individual. In a collectivist, team-orientated company, people tend to be less adventurous; that is, they are less likely to deviate in directions that lead to innovation and creativity.

    Without vivid and unique ‘I’s a team is flat, uniform and stereotyped. Does this sound like the type of team that you want to build? Of course not! A team without desire, passion and jealousy isn’t a team that is going to get results.

    When putting a team together, it is important to remember to include a mix of very different characters – then resist the urge to suppress their individuality, but instead harness it to achieve collective goals!

    During team development exercises we are taught to think and act as a team and work together to win, and if everybody plays their role as defined, the team will reach their desired aim. Conflict over issues within a team is not a bad thing; in fact, energetic discussions about issues are healthy when handled in the appropriate manner! It can also help to create understanding and confidence in the product or project, when objections are handled constructively.

    So what factors do you need to take into consideration next time you are developing a team? Here are a few thoughts that you may want to take into account…

    • Does each member know the mechanics behind working as a team? Too few team members understand the dynamics needed to make a team function – it is a skill that needs to be learned and not left to chance. Individuals need to recognise that the strength of each individual is the key to success!

    • Are team members clear about their roles within the group? They should be assigned to tasks dependent on their skills. If they aren’t clear about the contribution that they bring to the group, their self-worth will be in doubt, which will in turn cause resentment towards other members.

    • Will the team member contribute effectively to the team? It is important for workers to uphold their share of what needs to be accomplished. Although it is important for members to retain their sense of individuality, the team needs to reach its goal.

    • Will each team member share responsibility when the chips are down? Make sure that you build a team that doesn’t adopt a blame culture and each person is accountable for their own activities. If a team member is not giving 100 per cent then they must be culpable for some of the problems.

    Good teams, in whatever sphere of life, require a wide range of qualities that are in creative tension to function. The basic building blocks of a team are comprised of individual personalities – you can spell team with an ‘I’!

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