If you saw yesteday’s news and you are a rugby fan,  you will be pleased to hear that the BBC and ITV will share the rights to broadcast rugby union’s Six Nations Championship for the next six years. I think many fans will agree with the comment from the BBC Director of Sport, Barbara Slater, who said: “It’s great news for fans of the Six Nations that the championship will be staying on free-to-air television.” Given that Six Nations has enjoyed a long partnership with the BBC  – since 1937 in fact! –   this latest news seems to me to  indicate a shift in gear for sports broadcasting and who know what will happen to Wimbledon in the future? If you’ve been watching it this week, can you imagine if that went to another broadcaster or was shared with one?

The Six Nations news is a really good example of effective teamwork. With this in mind, here are 5 things that team leaders should bear in mind when comes to the workplace:-

1.    Communicate openly

Teams that work well together share a common understanding of what it is that they’re there to achieve.

Ensuring that the team understands what it’s there to do and why, will encourage cooperation, reduce duplication of effort and limit “empire building.”

Create forums to stimulate 2-way communication – open up the upward and downward channels.

“Effective communication is 20% of what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” (Jim Rohn).

2.    Build Trust

Successful teams are made of people who trust and believe in each other.

To gain trust from your team members, you must first give it.

The only way you can make a person trustworthy is to trust them, and the surest way to make them untrustworthy is to distrust them.

Assuming that your people will do as you ask is far more effective than expecting the worst and micromanaging them.

3. Set high standards

Successful teams have high standards and set themselves stretching goals.

There’s no pride in achieving something mundane and average.

The goals must have personal meaning and resonance for each team member, building their commitment and engagement.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” (Anthony Robbins).

4. Define Roles & Responsibilities

Each team member must clearly understand what they must do (and what they must NOT do!) and how they fit into the bigger picture.

When people don’t understand the impact of their role on others, they start working in silo.

Successful teams understand how each and every person adds value.

5. Encourage friendships

The bonds between team members allow them to anticipate each others’ needs and seamlessly coordinate their work to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness.

As long as the team focus isn’t lost, informal relationships at work should be encouraged.

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