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Doug Manuel on the Importance of Team Building

by janeausten
Doug Manuel on the Importance of Team Building

In the majority of our global organizations, employees are taken on for their technical expertise. However, there is another skillset outside of our ‘know how’ that is required to ensure that teams achieve the best possible results. This requires for team members to undertake some inner work so that the organizations can become purposeful. Processes are important, but if people are not made to feel so it is unlikely that any cross-functional or collaborative approach will lead to sustainable success. Working in teams is common practice in every organization. It is already a challenge to assemble a group with the right mix of skills and experience, but to ensure that team members have the right combination of technical expertise and personal leadership skills is an even bigger hurdle.

So to ensure success it is critical that goals are set, and that everyone on the team has the necessary skill sets in order to ensure success.

This article is developed using insights from Doug Manuel, who is well-known as an expert in collaboration and engagement, as well as business processes and dynamics. In addition to his projects in particularly having created an award nominated stage show, he is a keynote speaker, corporate trainer, and performer. London-born Manuel has had a rich and varied career path which started out as a season worker in the Swiss and French alps in the winter, and a beach boy in Cannes at the summer before becoming a runner at the Cannes Film Festival. That led him to discovering his true calling.

His experience in Cannes drove him to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking, and he soon found himself making documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. He worked on a broad range of programming from light entertainment to current affairs, topical documentaries and wildlife. In 1997 he had a double introduction to Africa – he worked on a documentary about African elephants that took him across the continent. In parallel Manuel attended a djembe workshop. This experience awakened something in him which led him to quit film making and travel to West Africa to study the djembe in Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea. He has been a dedicated student of West African music ever since.

During this time, Manuel realized that he had a knack for establishing rapport and bringing people together. As a result, he developed a new career for himself as a keynote speaker and corporate trainer running in-person and online courses on collaboration. He also organizes and runs leadership retreats in West Africa, and develops his charity Lighting Up Lives. In his spare time Manuel created a stage show ‘Do You Speak Djembe?’ which was nominated for 2 JEFF Awards.

He’s worked with Oprah Winfrey, TED, TEDx, TED Global, leading business schools in Europe, the US and China, as well as hundreds of fortune 500 companies. Manuel’s interactive keynotes combine story telling with collective music making and relevant mind body awareness exercises to ensure engagement and embody learning.

Importance of Teamwork

Teams struggle to perform without effective teamwork. Businesses of any size can benefit from a strong sense of teamwork. Working well with others is crucial if you want to build a fulfilling and long-lasting career, which is why teamwork is valued so highly in the business world.

It’s a source of inspiration and innovation. In order to thrive in today’s modern, competitive business environment, companies require innovative, novel ideas. Your fresh viewpoint will be an asset to the company. When a company has a diverse team, everyone has a chance to share their unique perspective and expertise, which is essential to the company’s success.

Issues are easier to tackle when people work together. Together, you can conquer the world. As a group, you can learn a lot about each other’s perspectives and perspectives, and you can come up with some really interesting solutions to problems by engaging in a round of brainstorming. Teams can find the best solutions by collaborating together.

This is a helpful stance to take. When people work together, they establish a system to guarantee that all tasks are completed on time and to the highest standard possible. Somebody else is always there to step in and help out when someone on the team slips up. It is more efficient for a business as a whole when tasks are distributed amongst team members so that they can be completed more quickly. As a group, you will grow closer together as you strive to achieve your objective.

Collaboration boosts spirits. When your efforts bear fruit, you’ll know that they weren’t in vain. A person’s credibility and standing in the group rises if they suggest a way to boost output, like a new filing system. One can always count on something unique from each team member. Members of a team develop a strong sense of community and loyalty to one another as they work toward a common goal.

Having a team is one thing, but working together effectively is another. A cohesive group is more likely to achieve its goals and objectives.

Manuel’s tips for Team Leadership

You, and only you, have the power to transform yourself into an effective team leader. This is a journey of discovery, rather than something that can be learnt in a course or from an article. So don’t expect this article to do the trick! However, it will help you plant some seeds as well as give you some hints and tips.  It’s important to think about the following factors:

Recruitment: When putting together a team, it’s crucial to engage people who have the right balance between technical and personal leadership skills. And as a team leader it is critical that you are as committed to the personal development of your team as you are at reaching the company objectives.

Honesty: Make sure everyone on the team is on the same page and understands the significance of their work. The stakes for the company’s success depend on their transparency, and it’s a team leader that must create the conditions for authenticity.

Enthusiasm: If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to inspire your team. Ensure that your team are connected with the purpose of the organization. If they are not they will never be able to demonstrate the right attitude to achieve the goals.

Empowerment: Team members should have the freedom to make decisions within established guidelines. Kamikaze is not good, but risk taking is. That is where we learn so it is important to encourage new ideas and ways of thinking. Encourage courage!

Creativity: Rather than viewing it as a threat, we should embrace it. General George Patton once said, “Never tell people how to do things. Give them instructions and see what they can come up with on their own.”

Measuring: Having a metric by which to evaluate your team’s performance is crucial. Whilst measuring leadership skills is harder to evaluate, make sure that this is taken into account in the metric.

Have fun: Bring joy to what you do because joy is contagious. There is always something that we can be grateful and joyful about. Life is too short to put in 40 hours a week with uninspired coworkers. Your role as leader requires you to inject some lightheartedness into the game.

Be inclusive: Sharing the team’s organizational structure is crucial. Team members will appreciate your decision to include them in the project more if everyone has a sense of the roles of their coworkers. With an overview, they can see their part of the puzzle, and they know how they are contributing to the team’s overall success.

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