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Aligning Individual Strengths With Team Goals

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  • 0:01 Team Projects
  • 0:48 Why Strengths Matter
  • 1:39 Team Selection Process
  • 4:33 Preexisting Teams
  • 5:13 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sherri Hartzell

Sherri has taught college business and communication courses. She also holds three degrees including communications, business, educational leadership/technology.

The most successful teams are made of people who are able to use their strengths to contribute towards project goals. This lesson will discuss the benefits of this method as well as how to do it.

Team Projects

It's 6 a.m. on a Monday morning, and your boss walks in to your office to hand you a new project aimed at increasing sales over the next quarter. He gives you little direction besides to simply 'get it done.' Fortunately for you, this is not your first time as a project manager, and you have many successful projects under your belt to help soothe the initial anxiety. From these past experiences, you understand the importance of choosing the right team members to help you accomplish your project goals. There are many things for a team leader to consider when assembling a project team. Those most interested in maximizing efficiency and reaching a successful project outcome should focus on selecting individuals for their unique talents, strengths, and skills that align directly with the project goals.

Why Strengths Matter

It's no coincidence that the teams who are comprised of individuals who are working in their area of strength produce extraordinary results. Strengths are preexisting skills, knowledge, and patterns of thinking that lead to one's best performance. When team leaders align individual strengths with team goals, they create a unique opportunity to maximize the potential of those individuals, the team and the organization. Team members recognize the value they bring to the group and can fully engage in the project because they see the potential for growth. Work is completed efficiently and in a timely manner because team members are capable enough to complete work with little guidance or intervention. The list of benefits goes on and on when it comes to aligning individual strengths to team goals. So, how does one make this happen? Is there a magical formula for choosing the right people for the job?

Team Selection Process

Of course, it's silly to think that there is a magic formula for anything in business these days or even some standard way to align individual strengths to team goals. Individuals are just that, individual and unique in their own right. Determining which individuals will be best for your project does take a bit of work, but it is a task worth undertaking. The following six steps can help guide you during your team selection process as you work to align team member strengths to project goals.

  1. Define Project Goals: Understand your project goals and what knowledge and skills will be required to reach those goals. For example, increasing sales over the next quarter will most certainly require individuals who are strong in product development, sales, marketing, customer service, and retention.
  2. Breakdown Project Goals into Tasks: Large project goals will need to be broken down into individual tasks. Next, you will want to determine how many individuals you will need to complete those tasks. If we consider the areas mentioned previously, that project team will more than likely require a minimum of five to ten individuals.
  3. Determine Attributes: Make a list of attributes, or characteristics that someone has, in which you'd like to see demonstrated by your team members. These attributes should align with project goals as well as contribute to a positive collaborative environment. Attributes for this team would include creativity, forward-thinking, strong communication skills, strong people skills, ability to work well in collaborative settings, deadline-driven, and specialized skills in the area in which they would be assigned such as product development, sales, marketing, customer service, or retention.
  4. Recruit Team Members: Once you know what you want out of your team members and how many you will need, it's time to recruit them. You can reach out to the Human Resource department or colleagues who manage employees with the necessary skills the project requires. These individuals should be able to assist you in identifying people within the organization that possess those strengths you need to build an effective team.
  5. Get to Know Your Team: Now that your team has been selected you will want to sit down with your team members and explain why they were chosen to participate on the team. You will want to learn what their aspirations are and demonstrate how their contributions to the team will work towards them. Explain how team members can take advantage of each other's strengths during the project to help to build strong collaborative relationships.
  6. Sync Strengths to Performance Expectations: One final thing to do is develop performance expectations that also coincide with individual strengths and project goals. Spend some time working with your team members to set goals based on their core competencies. This will only further help team members to feel a sense of ownership over their roles and responsibilities within the team.

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