Change is messy. Whether your team is brand new or has recently gone through restructuring, new team integration can be tricky to navigate.
Every team is unique, but as a team leader, you can apply the following tools to help any new team move forward together:
- Connect: Always start by building relationships and trust. Get to know the people on your team and encourage them to get to know each other. One way to do this is through an offsite meeting or retreat. When we lead new team integration sessions, we use various icebreakers to help the team get to know each other. One of my favorites is “The Shield.” Here’s how it works: Each team member sketches a shield on a flip chart on the wall and completes their shield. They then each spend 5 minutes sharing it with the group. These relationship exercises help the team work through conflict, increase efficiency, and achieve goals. You can customize what each of the four quadrants of the shield say. Here’s an example of one I used for a Biotech company in San Francisco recently:
Quadrant 1: Your personal journey
Quadrant 2: Your professional journey
Quadrant 3: What do you bring to the team?
Quadrant 4: What do you need from the team?
- Communicate: Take the time to share your vision and values, and explain processes, priorities, and expectations. Share how you will evaluate the team’s performance and define success. Your team will want to know these things and it will build trust and create positive momentum. Early on during new team integration, you cannot overcommunicate.
- Clarify: New team integration often brings conflict to the surface — but often this is just the tip of the iceberg. The giant iceberg that lurks beneath the surface creating this conflict is lack of clarity on roles, goals, and process. Michele Pepe, Senior Facilitator at BRODY and an expert on team dynamics says, “Team performance only improves when goals, roles, and process are clarified, agreed to, and acted upon.” Ask yourself: Have I been clear about people’s roles, the goals of the team, and the process we’re using to achieve those goals?
These 3 best practices will help you achieve successful new team integration. To learn more about how BRODYpro can support your new team integration, download an overview here. Or Contact Us to talk further about we can support you and your team.