While running a supernatural school, we are fully aware of the deadlines that need to be met and goals to be accomplished. Thus, efficiency is key. As the clock ticks, it’s easy to become so focused on producing results that we forget to cultivate and protect a sense of connection within our team. When we don’t intentionally pursue such connection, we can become disconnected. As a result, lines of communication begin to breakdown, collaboration becomes less effective, and efficiency drops. If we allow the disconnect to continue, we can experience levels of misunderstanding or even mistrust that robs our team of unity and motivation to fulfill responsibilities. At its worst, disconnection can lead to losing sight of our mission.
Communication Fuels Action
One way to simultaneously increase connection and efficiency is to create avenues for communication. John C. Maxwell, the author of Developing the Leader Within You, wrote, “Effective teams have teammates who are constantly talking to one another. Communication increases commitment and connection; they in turn fuel action. If you want your team to perform at the highest level, the people on it need to be able to talk to and listen to one another” (p. 197).
With your team, intentionally create opportunities for connection that both foster powerful communication and healthy relationships. High functioning teams can communicate desires, needs, and concerns with you and one another. Encourage your team to interact and watch how it…
- Opens up the opportunity for collaborative problem solving
- Creates an exchange of strengths
- Develops a sense of camaraderie
When We Say Be Intentional, Be Intentional
Put times of connection on the calendar, prioritize them on the meeting agenda and take whatever action to build in the time and space for your team to be known and valued by one another; even when the job needs to get done. In fact, when it’s crunch time, it’s even more crucial that the members of your team are talking and feel supported by one another.
Here are some practical ways you can create opportunities for your team to connect:
- Check in with your team during staff and/or individual meetings. Ask team members how they are doing in their individual roles and responsibilities and allow them to provide feedback or ask questions.
- Celebrate individual and corporate testimonies. Make time to also pray for breakthrough for individual or group needs.
- Announce important updates. Offer space for your team to share valuable information regarding changes in structures, procedures, or details that keeps the team on the same page.
- Reconnect about projects, plans or action steps. Provide accountability and support by reconnecting to find out their progress.
- Build “team” in creative, fun settings. Consider staff meals, retreats, or training activities to provide opportunities outside of a work environment for your team foster strong relationships.
Remember, “Interaction fuels action.” Seek connection! It is the true fuel for efficiency because it allows your team to work smarter (not just harder) through strong communication and collaboration of strengths