Teams have always been, and will always be, an essential ingredient for building a successful business. But building great teams isn’t something that just happens. It takes planning and ongoing effort to get them right–and to keep them that way.
Smart leaders know that for their teams to work well, they must accurately identify employees’ skill sets and assign them tasks that are well suited to their abilities. When putting together teams, they choose people they sense will work together well. The combined efforts of their team members not only produce superior results, they also build a sense of solidarity within their organizations.
The next time you need to get something important done in your organization, and you want to assign the task to a team, consider these five steps to building really effective teams:
1. Recognize the power of teamwork
Before you begin, take a moment to appreciate the power of teamwork and how you can best utilize this tool. Consider the result you want and the tasks you think are required to achieve it. As you think about your employees, match their skills to the tasks of the project, but also identify personalities you feel complement one another. A successful team project maximizes the talents of its individual members, but the true power of teamwork comes from the group’s cohesion and combined energies focused on a common goal.
2. Choose the right people
If you want your team to be really effective, you’ll need to get the right people for the job. If possible, try to incorporate employees or departments in your organization that bring varied experience and perspective to the project. If, for example, you’re trying to come up with a new way to track customer satisfaction using new social media tools, then be sure to include employees who represent sales, information technology, customer service, and more. Try to choose people for your team who together will provide a broad perspective on your project.
Once you’ve chosen your team and outlined your expectations, delegate the authority and access the team needs to complete the project. Industrious, energetic, and creative people will become frustrated very quickly if they do not have the freedom, access to tools, and other resources they need to complete their work. Once you have set forth your guidelines, your job becomes making sure they can do theirs. Avoid telling members of a team what to do and how to do it. Instead, work with them to set goals, and then remove obstacles, grant access, and provide the support your team needs to achieve those goals.
4. Monitor progress
In an ideal world, you’ll have chosen exactly the right people for the team, and everything will take care of itself. In the real world, you will have to verify that the team is working well together and that the project is on track. Provide, as necessary, a forum where you and the team can share concerns, successes, and project status on a regular basis. If necessary, you may find you need to assign a team leader, or redefine the project and reassign roles. As much as possible, however, try to let the team work through its own challenges. When a team identifies, addresses, and pushes through obstacles on its own, individuals draw closer together, and their success gives rise to confidence and camaraderie.
5. Celebrate your successes
When your team accomplishes or exceeds its goals, then be sure to recognize the win and celebrate it. At minimum, schedule a final team meeting where you can thank the group collectively and describe the positive impact their work will have on your organization and your customers. One hallmark of an outstanding team is camaraderie. The team’s success will build on itself, and your team and your organization will be the better for it as the team takes on more responsibility.
Mantra is an ancient meditative practice that aids in creating an optimal experience. Sakara, translated to the manifestation of thoughts into things, reflects the idea that we are the agents of change in our own lives; we have the ability to live the life we want as the person we want to be. Repeating mantra aids in that manifestation of personal contentment through repetition of focused, conscious desire.
Mantra and its practice are part of ancient Vedic tradition first developed by wise spiritualists who connected the sounds of the natural world around them to a greater universal energy. They saw sound and its vibrational quality as the audible manifestation of the energy to which we are all connected. They recognized that no matter who or where in the world a person is, if one sits quietly long enough, one can hear those connective sounds, and not only that, but can achieve peace through the concentrated practice of listening and repeating them. The sages began to mimic such sound patterns that they heard as a form of meditation, achieving a greater sense of clarity, awareness, and transcendent peace. This same concept, thousands of years later, can be appropriated to bring us closer to our highest self and to achieving what we most desire.
Traditional mantra meditation uses existing Sanskrit hymns and chants that have been shared and practiced apart of Vedic tradition. These mantras are typically vocations towards certain deities for blessings specific to them. The sounds of these prayers said in repetition are meant to induce a deeper meditative state, such as when a lullaby soothes a child to sleep, The linguistic nature of traditional mantra and the quality of their sounds works to quiet mental chatter and fosters a peaceful environment for the body and mind to exist.
Here are three examples of traditional mantras:
- Om (ohm): The simplest to repeat, yet a powerful acknowledgement of connection between all beings.
- Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu (lo-kah sah-mah-stah sue-kee-no bah-vain-to): Asking for peace and contentment for all living things.
- Om namah shivaya (Ohm nah-mah she-vah-yah): an acknowledgement of the power, beauty, and unique perfection of another being.
Personal or unique mantra is another way of approaching the practice and benefiting from it. Just as is true of thoughts, there are no right or wrong mantras. Rather, your mantra is based on personal experience, and holds power as an individual and unique expression of what you most desire. Whether it be aimed at manifesting security, deep connection, pervasive self-confidence, or release from suffering, the only requirement of mantra is that it is authentic.
Spend a half hour with your journal, preferably in the morning when your mind is fresh, free-writing about what it is you desire at this moment in time. Without over-analyzation or personal judgment, let it flow freely. Writing it down will help you to gain clarity on what is most pertinent for you in the current moment.
Decide which idea, goal, concept, emotion, etc., it is what you want to focus on first. Once you have a sense of it in your mind, turn it into a declarative statement. Imagine you already have what you are looking to attract as part of your reality. For example, if you’re yearning for body peace, write down “I am happy in my body, perfect as it is.” If it is financial security you desire, try something along the lines of “I have everything I need to live abundantly.” Finding a romantic partner can be turned into “I am open and ready to receive great love.”
Again, your personal mantra is an authentic, individualized expression. A concentrated effort to help you achieve stillness, and peace and ultimately aids in creating the your optimal reality. Whatever that is for you at this moment, is right. As a side note, you can have multiple mantras at the ready, however when meditating with the mantra, it is important to repeat only one at a time in order to focus your energy towards one thing instead of smaller efforts towards multiple goals.
- 1/2 hour spent alone journaling about what you want
- Refinement of what speaks to you as the most pertinent to focus on
- Written declarative statement
- 10 minutes daily quiet time sitting or walking slowly to repeat your Mantra
Try incorporating mantra into your meditation practice and pay attention to what arises for you and to where you take flight.