Shaping the Culture of your Team

Updated: Sep 20


I had the great pleasure of speaking at the ITX2018 conference this Friday. My topic? How we all have a part to play in the environment we want to work in every day.


We all make choices in our work life. To sit at our desk and struggle without asking for help or to watch someone sitting at their desk struggling without offering to help. To build each other up and support one another, or not. To speak respectfully and listen or to sit all day at our computers with our headset on. While Leaders have the ultimate responsibility in creating a great environment, we all have our part to play in what we call teamwork.


My view is that no matter what is going on in the company around you, that a team can work hard at building their own environment or culture. It may never be perfect, but when you take ownership in your part with the team then together you build the bonds of trust and respect. Ultimately, you as a team will never let each other fail. You reach successes and learn from failures as one.


The foundation in shaping the environment you want is how you communicate. The first brick of the foundation is using the H.O.T. method:


Honest: Say what you think and mean, honest communication. Today people are scared to be honest with their opinions, whether it's that they will offend someone or maybe be caught out saying something silly. There is a way of sharing your thoughts that won't offend others, you just need to think it through. And sometimes you might have to temper how you say it to the person who is receiving the information, however, there is nothing wrong with being honest. Have you ever heard of "no idea is a bad idea"? So what if what you say seems silly, if it helps others build on that thought to create an amazing outcome, SAY IT!


Open: Being open means that you are willing to hear what others have to say. That you can take on board someone else's thoughts without being offended or fearing that someone else came up with a better idea. How can we learn if we are closed off and think we know it all? How can a team act as one and always produce quality outcomes if they don't listen to one another and take on board what they have to say?


Transparent: This means that you recognize your gaps. We all have our own skillset. When teams are truly working well together it's usually because they play to each other's strengths. A gap is only a weakness if you refuse to admit you have them. No one person can have all the right answers, so recognize your gaps and let someone else fill that space.


This was just a small sub-set of my talk last week. I believe if we each can at least start with the H.O.T. method, we will start making a huge impact on our own team and start to make the environment we work in a place we are excited to show up to every day.


How do you show up every day for your team? What do you do to build up the team culture?