Strengthen your Team as you strengthen your body Part 2: Principles of Exercise

Princiles of exersice - Building a TeamPreviously, we’ve talked about providing your team with nourishing energy. However, when not applied properly, energy can bring more harm than good, so it is imperative to understand the principles of its application.

To help us with this task let’s invoke our metaphor of Team as a Human body once again. The principles of applying the energy of the team are not unlike physical exercises we utilize to get our body into shape. The same way there are exercises directed at certain parts of our body as opposed to those that address the overall tonus, there are separate activities that should be directed at each particular team member and at the team as a whole. The rule of thumb here is synergy between both types of activities. If you train your team to work together, you shouldn’t encourage competitiveness between its members. If you like to reinforce high achievers – build a clear hierarchy based on achievement.

As in the gym, there are three principles to bear in mind – load level, comprehensiveness and frequency of application.

Load level gradates how advanced or, if you will, mature, the person is in his needs and abilities. No one can start lifting heavy weights before gaining some muscle, so there is no meaning in sending to advanced training someone who’s yet struggling with the basics. But increase the work load gradually – and your employee will have time to adjust, the same as our body adjusts during training.

Comprehensiveness principle is responsible for ensuring that there are no weak links left behind and all parts are equally treated. The result is a well-balanced body and you want your team also to be well-balanced. Working out on exterior muscles and forgetting to train the core is a lot like meeting with everyone 1:1 on a weekly basis while skipping such meetings with your team lead, thinking that he sees you every day anyway.

The last one is Frequency – to nail the target everything has to come in the right proportion and time. The body doesn’t become stronger during the exercise itself but during the resting period between training sessions, so you don’t want to train “as much as possible”. Every activity must have its optimal pace, so it may sound nice for the team to go out together but make it too frequent – and it could become a serious strain on their budget and personal life.

Now that we’ve laid out a pathway to building a perfect team and sustaining it with continuous nourishment, we’ll be able to continue further. In my next posts on the subject I’ll tell you about how to assess the team and its members with most basic tools and how to develop your team in accordance with different management styles, so all that and more is still to come. It doesn’t matter how many smart books on team activities are on the shelf, it is crucial to know how to customize the information in those books to particular team’s needs. We are all different in so many ways, but there is one thing in common to all companies: mistakes made on human resource front are expensive and are much harder to be repaired. The Manager is a turning point in the organization structure where things can go either north or south, so it’s your choice to make :-).

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