Building an Effective Team
Define the purpose:
Clearly define the purpose of the team, including the overall outcome it has been brought together to achieve. What do you want to create, improve or change? What is the purpose of each person’s role in the team? Providing a clear, inspiring vision sets the foundation for successful teamwork, and helps guide the direction of the group when they face challenges and decisions.
Assemble the team:
High performance teams are comprised of individuals that passionately embrace the vision, believe their contribution is meaningful and are motivated to give their best effort. All team members should trust, respect and support each other. Select members with complementary skills and abilities, who can bring a diverse range of viewpoints and ideas to the table. Achieving a good balance of personality types will enable the group to work together harmoniously but also challenge each other when necessary.
Determine the goals:
Once the team is established and united behind a shared, compelling purpose, the next step is to break the vision down into smaller, manageable goals and tasks. Outline the required tasks in a schedule, with agreed deadlines, milestones and responsibilities. Decide the role that each team member will play. Be sure to also consider other resources required in terms of time, materials, space, and support.
Managing an Effective Team
To ensure that each member understands what is expected of them, define a standard of conduct for the team. Will communication be frequent, open, honest and transparent? Will contributions be encouraged, valued and recognized? Will conflict be handled in a constructive way? Will team decisions and feedback be respected? Setting clear standards from the outset will ensure that each member’s conduct and contributions are appropriate.
Monitor and review:
Regularly review the group’s performance through team meetings and one-on-one catch ups to ensure that progress and goals are being made. Good questions to ask are: how are we doing? What have we achieved so far? What have we learned? What isn’t working so well? How can we improve? Monitoring and reviewing progress allows for adjustments and improvements to be incorporated along the way.
Celebrate and reward:
Make the time to regularly recognize, reward and celebrate both team and individual performance. This will help to build morale and bolster the motivation of the group to continue their hard work. Find the most appropriate way to celebrate team milestones, such as a personal ‘thank you’ at a team meeting, an email copied to core managers, or a team activity. Ensure that recognition is consistent, and that the method you choose inspires and reinforces the team members to continue their positive contribution to the team’s progress.
Grow an Effective Team
Versatility promotes healthy growth within a team. If those on the team can effectively perform multiple duties or have multiple specialties, the stronger the team becomes. This also comes with experience as a team. The more the team works together, the more proficient it becomes working as a team. Having additional knowledge available or allowing new knowledge in for the advancement and growth of the team is always something to keep open.
A Thriving Team:
A team that thrives is one hungry for more. More work, more growth, more expansion, more development. When the team has reached a point where it has received a reputation that awards it more and more case load, expansion of the team becomes necessary. Otherwise, you start getting into to much case load per team member. This takes down morale and ultimately causes stress within the team.
Expanding a team takes precision and careful thought. A team that clicks as a unit is a strong and effective team. This is the one core value you don’t want to lose. So, you must at some point think about expansion with consideration to the click of the team.
In such instances where there are multiple units within a team, this is not so concerning. Then the units are who need to click vibrantly. Perhaps building multiple unit cells within a team is the right way to go. Some of those units may not necessarily work side by side with each other.
(12 Management Fundamentals)
4 fundamentals of leadership
When you’re at the top and everyone is looking up to you for guidance it can be easy to think that leadership is about you. But that’s a deceptive and destructive way of thinking.
As historic leaders such as George Washington have realized, leadership is about the people around you. Recognize their concerns. Live with the difficulties they face. Make your focus on them rather than on yourself, your ideas, and your status. If you do those things then people will follow you no matter what it takes, just like they did for Washington.
Remember, leadership is about the led.
Good communication is central to every human relationship, and so to every business relationship. Whether it’s with customers, colleagues, or suppliers, clear communication builds trust, improves productivity, and ensures that the job is done right.
Good communication is about listening as much as speaking; planning as much as delivering; personal moments as much as addressing the room. There are lots of details to work on, but they all come back to the fundamental point of communicating well.
Trust is vital to leadership and it isn’t something that just happens. You have to earn people’s trust, and to practice the skills that will help you to do this–communicating clearly, listening to others, setting and living up to clear expectations.
But trust is a two-way thing. If you don’t show others that you trust them then you reduce their ability to do their best work and you prevent them from ever fully trusting you. So you also have to learn to trust others, and to act on that trust. Don’t try to control the details. Recognize that solutions other than your own may be good enough or even better than what you came up with. Let others do their best without you peering over their shoulders. In the end you’ll all get more done.
It’s easy to get stuck in familiar patterns. After all, following the same routine is easy and it feels safe.
But anyone can follow a routine. A leader needs to innovate and to show others how this is done, or the whole organization will slip into complacency and stagnate.
Practice trying new things and developing new ideas. Apply skills from outside of your field. Develop new thinking habits. Train your brain to innovate.
If scales are the fundamentals of learning to play music then principles like these are the fundamentals of learning to lead. If we keep practicing them then the other skills and habits will easily follow.
But unlike scales the fundamentals of good leadership can’t be easily deduced. So what do you think they are? Do my suggestions ring true for you, or have I missed the most important point? Let me know what you think–let’s work on our scales together.
4 fundamentals to good client service
1. Give undivided attention
Attentive time is among the most limited of all resources. As we split time and attention in more ways than ever before, the amount available per person gets smaller and smaller. Reduce the likelihood that the other person feels you’re not really “present” by putting away your devices and giving them your undivided attention. Not only does this demonstrate your professionalism, it shows you value their time as much as they value yours. Don’t worry; those messages, texts, or tweets will all be there later.
2. Prioritize face-time
Think for a moment about the variety of ways we communicate with others today: in-person, phone calls, text messages, email, social networking platforms, video-conferencing. The list goes on. While it’s true that some of these methods give us more communicative context than others, nothing is a true replacement for meeting face-to-face. Spending time together in-person allows both parties to make the most intense emotional connection with each other. Fewer distractions. Fewer misunderstandings. Better communication.
3. Reciprocate in kindness
With the shift from one-to-one communication to the one-to-many stream of social networking, it’s no surprise that society as a whole has shifted to a “me-centric” one way thinking. Lost is the common courtesy of reciprocating the considerate gestures of others. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have lessened expectations of responding to broadcasted messages. But the type of reciprocity that characterizes strong relationships can’t be demanded of others. By demonstrating thoughtfulness toward others, we encourage them to respond thoughtfully to us.
4. Consider the need for extra consideration
As we connect in more distant ways—online or through mobile devices—we may find ourselves becoming less considerate of others without even realizing it. The scarcity of our available time also affects our ability to be considerate, in the sense that consideration means considering the needs, desires, or challenges of others. Considering their situation might take a little extra time, but it can save you a lot of time if you’re focused on what you think they want or need rather than their actual want or need. Consideration is one gift that we don’t necessarily know how to describe, but we recognize it when we receive it. And most importantly, we know when we don’t.
The success of any business comes from the ability to create and maintain meaningful relationships. When you connect with others in a meaningful way, you become valuable resources for each other. The value you provide for each person in your network can extend outward to and from others with whom you are connected. Whether your goal is to grow an existing customer base or to increase the satisfaction of current clients, success comes from focusing on the fundamentals of client relationships.
4 fundamentals of a successful team
Work teams depend on a clear purpose from leadership. They know precisely what the team is expected to achieve with appropriate measures. Without a clear and compelling what, teams will struggle and become frustrated figuring out the how.
Clear roles and responsibilities, both within and between work teams, facilitate coordination and leverage team member knowledge, skills, strengths, and abilities. Without clear roles and responsibilities, teams will become confused about who is responsible for what. Without the right skills and experiences, teams may work hard, but will underperform.
Operating practices effectively guide how a single team works together, and how teams work with other teams. Consider how the team(s) communicate, employ technology, solve problems, resolve conflicts, make decisions, and perform the work. High performing teams are constantly evaluating and improving how they work together. Without well designed operating practices, teams will certainly be inefficient, and likely ineffective.
Collaborative working relationships establish and grow trust between people. Highly effective teams are aware of, and agree on, the behaviors that can build and destroy trust. Team members get to know each other’s nonbusiness lives, they develop personal connections that often last well beyond the life of the team, and they care for each other. They become aware of and are sensitive to each other’s preferred style(s) for communication, decision making, and dealing with conflict. They create a safe place for each member to grow. In short, the members’ personal relationships bind them together and unite them around working toward the team’s clear purpose.
(Building a Paranormal Team)
The purpose of creating teams is to provide a framework that will increase the ability of employees to participate in planning, problem-solving, and decision-making to better serve customers. Increased participation promotes:
A better understanding of decisions
More support for and participation in implementation plans
Increased contribution to problem-solving and decision making
More ownership of decisions, processes, and changes
More ability and willingness to participate in performance evaluation and improvement
For teams to fulfill their intended role of improving organizational effectiveness, it is critical that teams develop into working units that are focused on their goal, mission, or reason for existing.
Many times, when you're hired or promoted into a leadership role, the team is already there. You have to adapt your ideas and plans to fit the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the existing team.
But sometimes, you get to create your own team. It can happen on special projects when you're pulling people from different departments, or when you are creating a new department.
If you're in the situation where you get to create a team from scratch (or have the opportunity to add headcount to an existing group), here's how to create the best team possible.
Clearly Identify the Task at Hand :
If your task is nebulous, you will have a tough time knowing what skills you need to find. You’re likely tempted to jump right in and hire people with the general skills that fit your overall department. (I need marketing people. I need creative people.)
But to paraphrase an adage, hire in haste, repent at leisure. If you start out with the wrong people, you'll regret it. To know who you need, clearly identify the task or goals your team will need to accomplish.
Identify the Skills Needed:
You need to identify the soft skills as well as the hard skills you need. Will the employee need to communicate results and progress to senior management? Are there skills you need that isn't going to be obvious without hard thought? For instance, if you're putting together a team to implement a new software system, you obviously need programmers.
But you also need a person who can talk to the end-users to get a clear understanding of their true needs. You need a trainer who understands the technical side of the new software system and can explain it to non-techy people.
If you know you need super smart and independent workers, you know that you also need a person who can bring those independent workers together. Of course, you do. (That's generally the manager or team leader's job, but knowing your own limitations is critical to team building success.)
Identify the People:
If you want to build an internal team, you have advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that you already know the people from whom you are choosing. You know their strengths and their weaknesses. You know who is good at technical work. You know who is creative. You know who is whiny. You know who can sell ice cubes in a blizzard.
The disadvantages are that you've got to pull the team from your existing staff, so you can't fix any weaknesses that already exist in your potential team members. You have to deal with the politics of pulling someone from another group's staff. You can't ignore the fact that you can damage relationships if you steal too many of the best people from other departments.
Additionally, you may know that John is the best possible person, but John has no interest in being on your team, or John's manager won't let him join. You may find pulling together an internal team super frustrating.
If you have to hire from the outside, you've got to think long and hard about budgets. Sometimes you're tempted to throw all of your money into hiring the superstar, but then you have to hire entry-level people for all of the other positions. They may not balance out your superstar.
Other times, you may think that the best path is to hire cheap help and get as many people as possible for the smallest salaries possible. It doesn't work either.
While you have to work within your budget, you may want to hire a superstar, or you may need a whole bunch of worker bees. Give whoever you hire careful consideration.
Hire in the Right Order:
Don't hire the administrative assistant first. You may think, “Okay, I'll get this out of the way.” But the administration's job is to help the rest of the team and support them. If you hire this person first, you need to find additional people with whom they can work, instead of the other way around.
Start with your most senior person, or the person you want leading the team, and work down through the rest of the team members from this hire. You want your most senior person to help you with the additional hiring—either internally or externally.
Practice Honesty in Your Hiring:
Don't just extol the virtues of working on this team. You need to state the challenges honestly to potential employees. For example, you might say: “We'll implement a new software system. You will work hard and put in long hours. We'll experience pushback from senior managers, and I will fight for the team, but it will be difficult.”
This way, you'll get staff members who know what to expect. Don't lie and say the team’s task is a bed of roses unless you really think that is how the team's work will play out. You'll lose your best team members who will feel as if you fooled them.
Remember to Manage:
Once you get your team together, you've got to run it. Great teams seldom run well without a great leader. That's your job. Make sure that you work to make the team cohesive and hard working. Don't ask more of them than you ask of yourself.
If you are managing the team leader, the same applies. You need to check in on a pre-planned schedule to ensure that the team stays on track. If it's not, work with the team leader to regroup and move forward.
If you carefully approach putting a team together using these six steps, you'll have a great team and a successful project. Your organization will learn from their success, and you'll strengthen your other work teams across your organization. It is the outcome you seek as you put together successful teams.
Out of Pocket
Ok, so here’s the deal. It is unethical to ask for money as a fee for your service investigating the paranormal. There are costs involved with it. Batteries, travel cost, lodging etc. Are all costs concurred by the team and its members. The equipment can get down right costly. But everything is out of pocket cost. You can share that you do take donations to help curve these costs. But it should never be persuading to any client that they should.
Donations and Sponsorships
There are ways to going about gaining donations and sponsors. Before you do, are you set up as a nonprofit, LLC, or working as and under organization. Nonprofit organizations have the ability to return a receipt for donations and the donator is able to claim that on their next year's taxes. If your team is an LLC, now your group operates a company. Donations aren't as easy because they don’t get the credit at the end of next year. Sponsorship isn’t easy in any situation to gain. However, for LLC companies, it’s natural that the sponsorship becomes easier than gaining a donation for an LLC.
There are ways to market other areas of the paranormal for monetary earnings. The one thing you always want to ensure of is that you no not, ever charge for an investigation. That said. Let's dive into the list of options you have that you can market.
Here are just a few ideas:
Run ghost hunting workshops/courses
Take people on ghost hunting excursions
Start a blog or YouTube channel and actively work to get sponsors
Write a book about your ghost hunting experiences
That way you can do your duty for free and still make money from it.
Hold Haunted Ghost Tours
Gain sponsors through your Facebook group page.
Generate an Online E-merchant store.
There are plenty ways of making compensation without going into charging for any investigation.
(Working with Other Teams)
It is good for teams to work together no matter what capacity. This can be sharing information, joint investigations, upcoming events, tactics, methods or techniques. Building good strong relationships with other teams and groups in your area also strengthens the field abroad. Not only for you and other teams but for the community as well. Having unification with other teams will also add diversity and perspectives to your team. I am not telling you to rush right out and contact a load of teams. What I am saying is as you come across other teams in your work, social media etc., be open to what they have to offer and offer the same in return.
There are different ideas in the industry on what sharing is and what it means to their team or organization. There are locations where some organizations have exclusive access. But these organizations may be a touring company. Not necessarily a paranormal team. These folks are in the business to make money. Some of them will work with you, where others would rather you not intrude in fear of you taking their business away from them.
In locations that are openly shared, there are some risks and dangers to that as well. The more investigators there are investigating a single location, the more diversity is introduced. This can stir up activity in negative ways depending on the approach of these many investigators. So, for an investigator that built the trust level of the spirit in that location, he may lose the trust because of perhaps so many aggressive investigators going in not fully understanding and ends up in some ways disrespecting the spirit. You can see, there are a few reasons an organization could attempt to have a location remain exclusively to them. There are reasons of greed, but there are also reasons of pure respect for the location. This is why without a pocket full of cash, it's virtually impossible to gain access to any place without having a daunting task at achieving an in.
This is where unification comes in. If you have unification with other teams that share your general methodology or techniques, it becomes easier for the teams in your unified circle to share locations. If they share theirs with you, talk to them. See how they approach the location. See if there is anything specific, they do or use. Find out what you can so you can conduct your investigation without jeopardizing the integrity of that team with the spirits.
When you are sharing information with each other, take the information with respect and openness. After all, if it is working for them, it’s a proven method. And be sincere on anything you share abroad. You may not get much in return if at all. But at least you will have the respect.
Try to share as much as you can. Accept constructive criticism on evidence. You may see or hear a piece one way, and someone else may point out another. Welcome the critique. This adds perspective and may help you look in additional ways maybe you haven't before.
Throughout many things you read within our site, you hear the word respect a lot. If you don’t have respect for what you do, who you do it with, who you do it for and where you do it at, then you are finished. You’ve failed before you even begin. You simply cannot be successful if you cannot have respect. As a leader, you must bestow respect into your team and make it part of your team’s core expectations. There is so much skepticism in the paranormal field. Not only with the paranormal itself, but the methods and techniques that so many different teams execute sometimes come under question. Remember early on, I said that a good investigator is the believing skeptic. You must have skepticism to be a good investigator. Well, that skepticism bleeds over to believing in other teams and groups too. That respect is not given. It is earned. Let them get to know you, and your methods. Invite them along sometimes on investigations. Let them see how you do your thing. And as well, welcome any suggestions they may have. This builds strong working relationships and builds, here we are again, unification.
Name and Logo
If you have a name for your team accompanied with a logo, you may want to secure it by registering it. Your tradename and trademark can be registered through the Secretary of State. Here in Arizona, you can get a 5-year filing on your tradename for $10 and a 10-year filing on your trademark for $15. For other states, refer to your states policies and fees concerning tradenames and trademarks. A good place to start is checking out the webpage for your secretary of state.
To form an LLC, there are steps you must take. The Arizona Corporation Commission’s website will direct you on what you need and what to file.
LLC Fee – The filing fee for an Arizona LLC is $50. To file for an LLC, you'll be required to file articles of organization. The state of Arizona charges $50 to process and record this document.
Publication Costs – The publication costs can range from $30 to $300. Arizona requires newly formed LLCs to publish a Notice of LLC Formation for three consecutive weeks in an approved newspaper in the county of the LLC’s principal office. The publication cost ranges from $30 to $300 and depends on the county. This must be done within 60 days of formation (except in Maricopa or Pima counties).
Federal: All federal business license requirements can be found on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
State: Arizona’s Corporation Commission handles all state level permits needed. Can contact them to check on permits based on your specific needs.
Local: If you will be conducting business out of town, you’ll want to consult the local chamber of commerce for information regarding local permit and license requirements.
There are some forms you should be aware of when it comes to protecting the interest of your team, your members and the clients. The following are a few most common legal forms dealt with by paranormal teams. Others may be adopted by teams for specific purposes. These being the basic are usually all you would need to start.
Permission to Investigate Form – This form is a document whereas the owner has signed permission for the team to be on his/her property for the purpose of conducting a paranormal type investigation. This is very important if the police happen to show up, you can show you have legal reason to be at the location.
Liability Form – Release of liability of the client and team. This form is a document that outlines the liabilities and release of liabilities on both the team and the client. Usually, two forms are signed and a copy is retained by both the team and the client.
Privacy Declaration Form – This form will outline the specifics on the client's privacy. In this form they will either agree or disagree to public viewing of his/her location in part or whole on displaying evidence etc. This includes their persons, name, occupants of the location etc.
Member Registration Form – This form is a standard form that members of the team fill out. It’s comprised of personal data, release of liability, and publication release consent.
Tour Agreement Form – This form is used if the team is conducting tours at a location. It contains the tourist's information such as name, address, phone number and emergency contact. It also contains a declaration of liability.