A good question, “How can I build a team that works effectively and efficiently?” A how question always starts with a beginning, where do I begin to make this happen? The answer doesn’t begin with the team, but with the team leader and the team members. It begins with the team leader because they are the ones that begin the process and set the stage for what is to come. It begins with the team members because they are the ones that have to come together in a cohesive manner to do their best work possible. I really don’t think you can begin to build the team until the leaders realizes that they must build the team members. Team Leaders need to use The CARE method of team member building. Consider Appreciate Respect Encourage Consider: First consider the team members. Take some time to set back and think about each member as you know them. In your present relationship how do you get along? What are the dynamics of the relationship? How do they really see you? How do you see them? Take serious time to go over each of the team members and think seriously about who they are, what they can contribute, and what each one may be seeking for themselves. A good team leader will consider the goals and visions of their team members and consider how they can help each team member realize their potential. Appreciate: Next appreciate the team members. Get to know them. If you can’t answer the questions above then show them you care by finding out. Be genuinely interested in them, their families and what ever their primary concerns are. Each person has unique gifts and talents, they have dreams and goals and visions, they have families and friends and many cares and concerns outside the workplace that influence the work place. Likewise, the workplace influences other parts of their lives as well. Learn to appreciate each team member for who they are and where they are. Express that appreciation in tangible ways. Respect: Each team member can be build into a vital part of the team when respect is openly demonstrated. Consideration and appreciation should lead to a respect for each member’s individuality and ability to contribute to the organization. This respect means allowing for differences and disagreements without it becoming personal or in any way demeaning. Two people, or more, can disagree without either or any of the sides being wrong. Even if a person is wrong, they and the opinion must be respected and guarded as important in leading to the overall effectiveness of the team. The self esteem of each individual in the group must be valued above individual opinions. Encourage: Lastly the team leader must be always ready to encourage. The team leader is the cheerleader for the team. When the heart of each team member is encouraged first by the team leader then the team will be poised to cheer on each other. It starts at the top. And when a person feels encouraged their outlook changes and becomes one of enthusiasm for the cause and excitement for the team making a positive difference and being successful in its endeavors. A team leader must always be present with a word that gives confidence, a compliment, something that builds the heart, promotes the person and demonstrates unwavering support. Confidence is an important ingredient in each team member and it is the team leader’s responsibility to build the confidence of each member of the team. Are you a team leader and do you want to build the best team possible? Then try building your team members first. Let them know you CARE. Because your people won’t really care how much you know until they know how much you CARE.