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Creating and Managing A Team

This lesson guides leaders in selecting, training, mentoring and managing a team that will perform optimally. It reviews what creates a motivated and productive work environment.

Presenter: Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director, Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College





[TEXT: Learning Objectives

1. Develop a deep pool of team members from which to recruit.

2. Select team members.

3. Develop a collaborative and productive work environment.]

[TEXT: Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director, Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College]

I’m Sadhana Hall, and this is Creating and Managing a Team.

In this lesson we will learn how to develop a deep pool of potential team members from which to

recruit, select team members, and develop a collaborative and productive work environment.

The question is: How do you create and manage an effective team? As a leader you must

have team members who are highly motivated and mission-driven. Be clear about your team

members’ roles and responsibilities. Most importantly, be very deliberate on how you select

members and how you integrate them into the team.

So there are a number of ways that you can recruit new team members. You can advertise

your positions through social media or through local or national newspapers. Ask a person

you trust whether they know someone who meets your criteria. You can reach out directly to

someone who has impressed you. Explore relationships with educational institutions and offer

opportunities for students. You can also contact former colleagues with whom you have worked

well in the past.

Now the hard part, selecting your team members. Use a detailed interview process that allows

you to assess your potential team member’s knowledge, attitude, skills and competencies. Take

your time. It’s ALWAYS better to spend time on selecting strong team members than making a

hasty selection and then dealing with a poor choice. Involve existing team members as well as

partners in the interview process. I’ve found that different people bring diversity of thought and

perspective, and also notice different things about the candidates during an interview process.

By involving others in the hiring process, you are also taking the first steps in integrating them

onto the team.

The ultimate question you want to ask yourself is this: I know this person has the required skills

and qualifications, but will they work well with the rest of our team and will they be aligned with

our outcomes and goals?

Finally, it’s important to develop a collaborative and productive work environment for a high-
functioning team. Here are some ideas:

Establish clear individual and team performance goals, objectives and work plans. High-
functioning teams are a collection of individuals who know why they and the others are on the

team. They expect your support — support them. Team members should be clear about your

expectations of them, how you will deal with conflict, and how you will expect the team to make

suggestions and receive feedback.

Give team members responsibility so they feel a sense of ownership for the vision. Realize that

everyone has something to teach and contribute.

Encourage professional development and the willingness to learn best practices from others on

the team and other parts of the organization. You will find that sharing information encourages

empathy and strengthens your team’s resilience.

“Lead by example” to create a productive work environment. You really need to model

behaviors like being humble, transparent, honest, authentic — and demonstrate your passion

and commitment to your organization’s mission. All this needs to be consistent.

Get to know your team members. By getting to know them you will better understand what

motivates them, you will learn the depth of talent and skills available to you at any given time in

case of new or developing projects, and you will develop genuine respect for their contributions

to your organization. In turn, they will be loyal to you.

Learn how to monitor and evaluate individual achievements and give frequent positive feedback

and credit to others. Do not be afraid to give constructive feedback. When you do this, however,

make sure you create opportunities for your team members to develop professionally. Help your

team members to address personal and professional crises and work with them to ensure team

and organizational goals are still being met.

Having a strong, diverse team that you can trust and count on is a sure way your organization

will be successful!

After you have completed all the units in this course at YLAI.state.gov, you can test your

knowledge and earn a Certificate.

[TEXT: Test your knowledge
Produced by the U.S. Department of State]

Discussion Guide [PDF, 139.85 KB]