Four simple steps to a strong start for your team in 2015 

Four simple steps to a strong start for your team in 2015

The new year is here and many of us are returning to work this week after a nice holiday break. If you’ve been offline for a week or two, it’s tempting to jump back in with both feet and hit the ground running. There are meetings to schedule, e-mails to tackle, projects to execute, and ambitious goals to achieve, right?

Right.

Let me invite you to resist this temptation, at least for the first day or two of this first full week of the new year.

Instead, consider blocking out some time this week to consciously leverage this opportunity to start fresh. Follow these simple steps to get yourself and your team off to  a strong start and set yourselves up for greater success in the coming year.

1 – RECONNECT WITH PEOPLE

Whether it’s during your regular staff meeting, or an informal lunch or happy hour, invite everyone in the team to catch up and check in with each other. Share a story or two from your holiday travels or family gatherings and listen to theirs. Foster the personal connections that build trust and create a solid foundation for working relationships to flourish.

2 – REFOCUS ON BUSINESS PRIORITIES

Bring the focus back to the important work you need to accomplish together in the new year. Review or update corporate and team priorities, share information about relevant organizational changes, and clarify your expectations and short-term goals for the team. Invite team members to share news from their departments, and ask questions to make sure that everyone is up to date and operating from the same information-base.

3 – REENERGIZE THE TEAM

Create opportunities for collaboration this week. Consider engaging the entire team in a collaborative effort to refresh the team’s mission and goals for 2015, or to envision new ways of working together in their current space. Anything to get them working together and generating the collective energy and positive momentum you will all need to accomplish your ambitious goals this year.

4 – RECOMMIT TO THE FUTURE, TOGETHER

Invite the team to articulate and document their commitment to whatever priorities, principles, or plans emerge from their collaboration this week. Print out and post these commitments where people can see and remember them every day.

Now, let your team move forward to schedule those meetings, tackle those e-mails, execute those projects and achieve those ambitious goals.

Off to a strong start. Together.

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