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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 38Advance from Team to Family

Team-building events provide opportunities for teams to experience, briefly, the tangible esprit de corps that is the norm among extraordinary teams. If you have been a member of an extraordinary team, you know what it feels like. And you know that it goes beyond a single event to define how everyday interactions feel among the members of the team.

This book began with a focus on the importance of relationships. Remember the story from Chapter 1 about Bernie and the diner? Team members who enjoy close relationships truly care about one another. They go the extra mile to support one another, and this caring and commitment contributes to an extraordinary team.

Members of extraordinary teams become friends—or more. As the quality of their relationships grows, they start to think and talk about the team as family. Referring to their team as family is not just a slogan, either. They mean it.

As a manager, if you want to build an extraordinary team, help your people create strong bonds. Help them get to know one another. Create opportunities for them to explore these kinds of questions:

  1. What is going on in their lives outside the team?
  2. What are their dreams, aspirations, and life challenges?
  3. What are their interests?
  4. What are their needs?
  5. What are their unique gifts?

Create opportunities to socialize outside of work and invite significant others to be part of those occasions. The importance of including significant others cannot be overstated. ...

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