Joanne Victoria

Article Summary:

How can you build a professional team for your business?

Building a Professional Team

As a business owner and entrepreneur, I need an external and internal team of people to help my business thrive. As a business resource consultant, I also help others build the teams they need for continued success.

Whatever the reason for creating the alliance might be - a joint marketing venture with other vendors, or creating an in-office task force - the steps toward successful team building remain the same. Commitment, contribution, communication and cooperation are the cornerstones.

Once the team reaches consensus about the game plan, all team members must put aside their differences and commit themselves to the consensual strategy and goal. Remember, being on a team implies giving up your ideas for something greater than yourself. This commitment to the group also requires individuals to follow through with their own assigned tasks.

Next comes contribution - and it's the diverse offerings of every member that make a team exciting. While an effective team requires leadership, an effective leader allows every member to blossom. Ultimately, every team member should trust and feel accountable to the team as a whole - not just the leader, who may or may not be the business owner.

Developing that kind of trust requires respectful listening. No throwing cold water on anything different or new! A team approach can yield results that individual members might never have envisioned, and this abundance of creativity can be a real windfall.

Next is team communications. At the beginning of every team meeting, everyone should be heard briefly, without interruption. This is an opportunity to settle in, loosen up and connect with each other before the real work starts. Creating time for team members to share a bit about who they are outside the office makes for an enjoyable, light-hearted and productive environment.

Cooperation entails pooling all the resources and ideas of each team member, and requires patience. It's a given that group decisions will take longer than individual decisions, but if you are truly committed to team building, it's worth the wait.

Joanne Victoria, owner of New Directions in Sausalito, CA, speaks to associations, organizations and professional practice owners on building their business while staying true to who they really are. She is the author of Lighting Your Path! - How To Create the Life You Want. and Vision With a Capital V- Create the Business of Your Dreams. Her Web site is at

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