How to Work Effectively and Productively Within a Team

Hi ya! It’s Kelly Taylor, LCI’s newest member! This is my first blog…ever…so please be gentle J

As a Senior Account Executive, one of my job requirements is to manage a team of outstanding coworkers. Although one may think that teamwork skills are something we learn early in life, many veteran professionals have yet to master the capabilities that are mandatory to work not only effectively, but more importantly productively, within a team environment. So, without further ado, please turn to page 1 of your life handbook and read along for today’s lesson:

Chapter 1. “Oh Geez, I guess I didn’t understand the assignment”

Recognizing and understanding your team members and their skill sets is incredibly important to make sure each is doing what they do best. Once you’ve got that figured out, the next step is to make sure your team members know what their actual responsibilities are. When expectations aren’t clearly relayed up front it could cause a project’s expected outcome or objective to be seriously misconstrued. What happens then? Delays, errors, animosity amongst team members, etc. Not good. A team’s first step is to ensure everyone is clear on what goals need to be met and how each member will go about meeting those goals.

Chapter 2. There is no room for micromanaging!

Once you have clearly defined the roles and expectations of each team member, let them “do their thing” – and hold them accountable for the success and outcomes of their role. Guidance, encouragement and back-up are characteristics that should be displayed amongst all team members, not just from the team leader, which will support and push the promotion of a positive environment and work done to the best of the team’s ability.

Chapter 3. Have a little faith

“Trust needs to be earned, but also requires some faith. In a team environment you need to grant some trust in order to start the chain.” – Stephen Covey

Stress and anxiety can be minimized if trust is maintained throughout the project. Set daily, weekly, monthly meetings to ensure all members and goals are moving forward, timelines are on track and deadlines are being met.

Chapter 4. You Rock!

When a job is well done, recognize that team member and don’t hold the accomplishment as your own. Highlight small wins and big wins all along the way making sure not to ostracize team members for doing more work than any other. Also, make sure upper management knows about the accomplishments too, not just the disasters J

Chapter 5. A preacher, a hooker and a dog walk into a bar…

Stress affects people differently. I, for one, need laughter. Yes, we are on a tight deadline. Yes, projects can be tedious. But, PR isn’t a job, it’s a creative freedom forum (well at least I think it is) and if you can’t break the monotonous “work” feeling of a project with a joke here and there, how will the team ever flourish artistically? Take a coffee break, go outside for a breath of fresh air, put on some roller-skates and take a lap, whatever needs to be done, just do it!!

Realistically, in life we can’t all work on “dream teams”, and because there is no “I” in team, I’ve got some “I” worthy (and “Buzzworthy”) activities that may help:

    1. Mel’s Drive-In – Nothing beats a thick milkshake at the end of a tough week! With multiple locations throughout the city, getting American food favorites at affordable prices is too good to be true!
    2. Levende Lounge – If Bloody Mary’s are your drink of choice, you should be a fixture here! This swanky lounge boasts the best selection of tapas during the week, but come holy Sunday their Boogie Brunch takes over and features make-your-own Bloody Mary’s. Bartenders pour the vodka and you add the tomato juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and other fixings. No better cure for hang-over far as I’m concerned.
    3. Palace of Fine Arts – Observing the wildlife living in the surrounding pond is entertainment enough! Ducks, swans, turtles and cranes…OH MY! Beautiful grounds, Corinthian columns, a central pond and home to the Exploratorium!
    4. Monkey on Chestnut – Get the monkey off your back and on your ears!! This adorable jewelry store boasts exquisite jewelry at affordable prices. Ever had watermelon quartz around your neck? Stop in for some gem lessons!
    5. Sweet Dish – Amazing selection of candy from around the world. Best part…the candy is already prepackaged for you and costs next to nothing. Which is good because you will need to save some money for all the cavities that will have to be filled after frequenting this sweet spot every week!
    6. Greens Sports Bar – I’m a Wildcat, so I ONLY frequent where the Wildcats can be adequately appreciated! Greens Sports Bar on Polk allows for a mini-Arizona reunion every time I’m cheering on my alma-mater, even if they’re losing (which is most of the time) GO CATS!!
    7. Hayes and Kebab – There are a ton of Greek delights in the city, but Hayes and Kebab is where I satisfy my Mediterranean cravings! 6 words are all that’s needed….Home Made Pita Bread And Hummus. Amazing! I’m don’t know what 1/2 the foods are on the menu, but the cute and incredibly nice man behind the counter knows exactly what I mean when I request “the soft brown meat and the spicy ricey stuff”.
    8. Cuteoverload.com – Nothing cures stress and anxiety like small, fluffy kittens…and horses…and ducks…and pigs. This website is updated daily with the sweetest baby animals you have ever seen. With funny captions to accompany the “AWWWW” inspiring photos & videos, you will want to check this site hourly to suppress any rage-induced computer smashing!
    9. Tainted Love – “Sometimes I feel I wanna (clap clap) run away….I wanna (clap clap) get away…..” Doesn’t get any better than that! I’ve seen this 80s cover band a handful of time and they never get old! Book them for your next event, or see them in the city at any number of venues. Break out the legwarmers, crimpers and florescent, one-shouldered sweatshirts…..we’re going to ROCK!!

    So, write me and tell me what you think. . .I can be reached at: kelly’landispr.com

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    3 Comments

    1. david Reply

      Kelly:

      With all this great management advice, you’ll be running the agency some day! Cheers, David

    2. Andrew Jepsen Reply

      “As a Senior Account Executive, one of my job requirements is to manage a team of outstanding coworkers.”

      You mean one of your job PRIVILEGES, right? Good advice for those of us on the up and up, too!

    3. Scott, HMA Public Relations Reply

      Bear Down!