Ability to create a positive team environment is an important characteristic of any good leader. If you are in any position of leadership in your company, organization, institution or business, you have to build a strong team that can help you to achieve your goals and vision. In any place of work and in any business you will start, you need people. You need people to work with. You need people to do business with. Knowing how to get the best out of the people who work for you is a key to the success of your organization, company, institution or business. How do you then create a positive team environment?In this article, I would like to share with you some of the practical ideas that have enabled me not only to build effective teams in my workplaces, but also to build a home business.1. Build a trusting relationship with your staff or your customersBuilding a trusting relationship with your staff and with your targeted customers helps to achieve your goals. Always live by what you say. Your actions should reflect your words. If the two are not in any way connected, then it’s difficult for you to create a positive team environment.Let your staff or customers see you as a reliable, responsible and accountable person. You need to consistently exhibit trust in what you think, say, decide and do for your team members to believe in you. Trust protects you. I have always said this and I will always continue to say it. Most successful leaders and businessmen you see around you rate so high in this aspect. If you cannot pass the test of credibility, the chances of you succeeding in your endeavors are minimal.To create a positive team environment, you have to maintain a high level of quality service and to deliver what you promise to do. You have to believe in your words and your promises. You have to be honest. You have to show natural respect for your staff or customers. You have to listen to them and ask them about their expectations, feelings and opinions.2. Communicate positively and assertively.Every human being wants to feel valued. You have to be sensitive to what you say and how you say it. You need to exhibit good communication skills whereby you listen to them, you are open to them, you respect them and you support them.Always communicate to them assertively. Assertive communicators believe that the people they communicate to have the same rights as them. They communicate constructively and clearly and in many cases, they become winners because people feel they are for them. Assertively communicate the vision, mission and values of your organization to your staff to build a positive and lively team environment.3. Understand yourself before you understand othersMost people easily see mistakes and bad behaviors of others. It’s very rare for them to realize that they also have much to do in order to connect with others. If you want to build strong teams that can support you to achieve your goals, then it’s important to begin by understanding yourself. Develop an understanding of self and how you may be seen by others including your colleagues. Know your strengths and your weaknesses.After knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you can then try to recognize others’ behavioral styles and learn how to respond to their needs effectively. The most important thing here is to learn how to respond to their needs positively and effectively. This means that you need to learn how to connect to them by exploring effective strategies in dealing with different people, including the so called “difficult” people. By so doing, you will easily realize the benefits of a team approach.4. Expect to get the best from your teamOur mind is made in such a way that what comes out of it depends largely on what you feed in it. If you really want your team to perform well, treat them as if they are already competent and capable of achieving their objectives. Support them to set high expectations and walk with them to achieve them, they will obviously achieve. Inspect them in order to get what you expect from them. They will be excellent team members and will rise to greater heights in their performance.5. Appreciate and recognize your team members.There is nothing as energizing as being appreciated and recognized for something good you have done. During my working experience, I have noticed that when you appreciate and recognize others, you make them feel good. And I rather work for someone who pays me little but appreciates my work than working for one who gives me a good salary but does not recognize my input. So do others. The word “Thank you” is simple but far reaching in the hearts of most people.When you appreciate and recognize someone, let it be real. Let it come out of you enthusiastically so that one really sees that your appreciation is genuine. If it’s not genuine, then better not say it because it will be misinterpreted.6. Create a good physical environment for everyone to enjoy the workYou should endeavor to create a healthy environment for your team members. A good physical environment is where the workplace is clean, free of pollution, cheerful, attractive with enough space and light. It also refers to any other thing that physically impacts on you and your team members.7. Have fun with your team members.I have seen many bosses, who never joke, have fun and celebrate with their subordinates. That does not create a positive team environment. You should not only focus on work. Though work is given priority, sharing with your team members in good times makes you be a better leader. Always have fun with them!8. Make your team members be passionate about what they do.When your team members are passionate about what they do, they always get energized and self-driven. They can initiate and pursue things to the end. It’s therefore important for you as a leader to be enthusiastic about your work and what you do. This will make everyone see that you love what you are doing and they will consequently love being part of your team.9. Be approachable.Creating a positive team environment necessitates you as a leader to make yourself available to the team members. Do not build a concrete wall around you. Let everyone, irrespective of his position and status, find it easy to approach you and speak to you. Let them feel that you are there for them.In one of the organizations where I worked, there was a culture of calling co-workers by their first names, irrespective of the position one held. This made it easy for people not to focus on seniority but to deal with one another harmoniously.10. Create a team spiritTo create a positive team environment, there must a feeling that everyone belongs to the team and everyone’s contribution is important to the success of the team. You should therefore inculcate a spirit of cooperation among your team members but not competition. You should be open to everyone and allow each member to feel a valued person in the team. Establish clear communication channels that are known by every member of the team.Finally, remember that you are a leader and not a ruler. You are a server and not a boss. Much is expected from you. Your success is built upon other team members’ success. If you bear that in your mind, you will obviously create a positive team environment for everyone.
I’ve often heard it said that the best way to win a fight is to not be in one in the first place. Likewise, the best way to defend yourself is through crime prevention. Crime prevention hinges on knowing yourself and your environment and responding appropriately to changes in either. Failure to heed changes in your personal environment can have serious consequences. This can be particularly true when it comes to preventing crime and maintaining a safe, secure environment. For purposes of this story the word environment refers to our personal world or sphere of involvement and the things that can occur whether negative or positive to affect that world. Our home, the interior specifically represents the primary environment. This is, as a rule where we tend to feel safest. Areas outside our home whether it be our yard, neighborhood or the local community at large represents our secondary environment. Through familiarity we are comfortable here yet cautious as we are exposed to greater risk. Areas not as familiar to us represent the third or tertiary environment. Here we’ve moved beyond our home, neighborhood, city, state or even country. Unless we’ve planned in advance we are totally exposed with no support network or knowledge of what to expect. In considering this concept think about how we respond when there are gross changes in the natural environment. When we are warned of impending storms, hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes or other natural disasters we immediately began taking precautions aimed at keeping us safe and secure.I’ve always had an interest in helping others as well as anything relating to crime prevention, self-defense, safety and security. In writing this I’m reminded of the time in my own life when chance more so than prudent observation, planning and action prevented what could have turned out to be a more serious situation. It also made me think of when I first became aware that my own personal environment had changed.I grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, home to Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne Division. My dad was a military serviceman and my mom a homemaker. In 1969 my dad moved us from a small apartment in a less than desirable part of town to a new home in a newly developed subdivision. It provided the safe, secure environment most people seek when choosing a place to live. We kids had a great time growing up there. Residential use of home protection systems was, for the most part unheard of. Neighbors knew and looked out for one another. There were times we’d gone to bed leaving doors unlocked or windows open yet awaken safe and sound with nothing visibly disturbed however, time would change that.After graduating high school I enlisted in the U.S. military and served for approximately eight (8) years. Upon my discharge I returned to Fayetteville with a new wife. We lived in my parent’s home until I was able to secure stable employment. In the meantime my wife became pregnant with our first child. A house had become available just around the corner from my parent’s home. It had belonged to one of my former classmates. We were able to purchase the home and set about raising our family. I was elated as this neighborhood had afforded me a safe and memorable childhood and I hoped it would be the same for my own children.At first things were relatively quiet as we settled into our new home then, a funny thing happened. One day, while working in my front yard I heard the sound of screeching tires and wailing sirens. They sounded quite close so I instructed my daughter who’d been outside playing to go inside. Concerned about what might be happening I followed a short time afterwards. A moment later a man appeared at our front door and began shaking the handle in a desperate attempt to enter. As I started for the door he took off. I opened the door and looked to my right to see the man sprinting down the street towards a large field near a wooded area. Looking to my left I saw a number of police officers in hot pursuit. a short time later officers caught the man, holding him at gunpoint until he was secured.As they took the man away I stood in my doorway somewhat stunned at what had just happened. Had my door been open this man may have very well placed myself and my family in great danger in the interest of escaping police. I’d always heard about such things happening in other places but here it was unfolding in front of me, in my world, my environment. An environment wherein for so many years we’d been used to leaving doors and windows unlocked. Thank goodness by chance I’d locked the door behind me on this particular day. I reassured myself that this was probably an isolated incident however, time would prove otherwise. I still live in the same home, in the same neighborhood. My children are grown now and since that time there have been other instances of police quelling disturbances or pursuing suspects throughout the neighborhood. The positive side to this is that it has forced me to become vigilant, to assess my personal primary and secondary environments on a daily basis. As you go throughout your day be prudent. Take the time to stop, look, listen, learn, plan and act.”The Prudent Warrior”