A team is defined as a group of people coming together with a common goal. Whether you are the leader of a team or a teammate playing a supporting role, maintaining and increasing team morale is central in building a strong group. The following tips will touch on a few ways that you can boost morale while becoming a stronger team member.
Plan Team Building Activities
Your team already knows how to bond over exercise and skill during practices and matches. So why extend that to off the ice as well? When planning team building activities, focus on ones that are not full of strenuous exercise or physical activity. Try and focus on opportunities to bring the team together that encourages more of a mental connection such as an Escape Room or trivia. These are fun and affordable ways to get to know your team members on a more personal level. They are also a fun way to change up normal day-to-day activities.
Host a Team Brunch
Nothing brings people together quite like a good home-cooked meal, and one of the most fun meals to host is brunch. Hosting a brunch for your team is a great way to blow off some steam and relax with one another without the pressure of practice or competition. Consider a potluck-style gathering to get everyone involved and able to share their favorite dishes. When it comes to brunch ideas, there aren’t too many rules. Whether you opt for a savory dish like tater tot casserole or stick to a sweet treat like fruity pebble french toast, you’re sure to please all palates while keeping things casual and relaxed.
Focus on the Individual
Everyone is different. And when you’re working in a team environment you are dealing with many different types of people. It is crucial to get to know everyone on your team and their style of communication and learning. Dedicate time to everyone on your team and get to know them on a personal level so that you can better understand them. Learning someone’s motivations and goals will help bring your team together as a whole and communicate more effectively.
Do you need more individual help? Did something upset you? Did you learn something that would benefit the team? The only way to get these messages across is to communicate with your teammates. It is so important to have open lines of communication between everyone. This could be the difference between success and failure. A great tip is to learn everyone’s communication style to maximize the effectiveness of discussions. Your team will appreciate you getting to learn more about them as well.
Great listening skills are one of the main pillars of a strong team morale. It is important to not only be a good listener yourself, but to also encourage your fellow team members to be great listeners themselves. Critical thinking skills and constructive criticism are crucial when listening to someone. Remove anything personal from your response and think objectively about the situation before you give your input. Here are some tips on how to be a better listener.
Stress Learning Over Winning
This doesn’t mean to not celebrate your wins, but instead, take a step back and look at the how and the why. It is also important to view a loss as arguably more important than a win. Losing encourages you and your team to work harder and try different strategies to accomplish your goals. Of course, everyone wants to win every single time, but in the long run having a losing streak might not be all that bad for the team. This article touches on the importance of balance when it comes to winning and losing as well as the learning benefits of both.
Lead by Example
One of the most important things you can do when you are part of a team is lead by example. Whether you are a coach or teammate, being a strong example of what is right will influence others to do the same. Leading by example could be something as simple as having a straight set schedule everyday, or treating everyone with respect and integrity. This type of behavior is infectious and will spread to those who are paying attention.
*Feature Image via Unsplash; photographed by: Hannah Busing