One of the major topics of this section of reading that stood out to me was the section on team building. This is because I have been part of a great many team building exercises throughout the years, and have even been on the other side where I made the team perform team building exercises to improve their performance on numerous occasions. During my time as an intern in the Residential Leadership Community, I was tasked with putting together a team, and then in turn, building that team to help them create their own teams in their halls afterwards. Through this experience, I first started them out with team building icebreakers at the beginning of my meetings for the first three weeks, to give them a few ideas of icebreakers, but also so that they felt more at ease with each other and so they could learn to rely on each other. Then, we spent our meetings problem solving and helping each other figure out how to solve problems on each other’s halls. In doing so, I catered to multiple needs of the team to perform well, efficiently, and cohesively. This was so important because the team needs to be able to rely on each other for the team members to not become overwhelmed. The closer a team is to each other, the more secure and capable they feel, and they start to feel as if they will be held up by a safety net of their team members in the case of a failure. This fortifies a team member’s mentality and they begin to perform better through the psychological response of having some freedom to make decisions that may be a little more risky, but may bring more turnout than the safe option, as we had seen from the last section of reading from Levi chapter 9. This doesn’t mean that the groups will take just any risks, however, just that they will still be mindful of risks and take those that aren’t too incredibly risky, just some here and there. This is so important because teams need that trust to be at max capability, and you can only do this through effective team building over time.
In the future, I can take advantage of this mindset as well. Before reading this chapter, I knew that team building was important, but through reading and thinking about the reading and connecting it to past readings did I realize the true importance of it. Without team building, the team will take a long time to reach the status of a tightly knit team, meaning that until they do so, they won’t be doing the best work that they can be. In positions of leadership, I will be able to help make decisions that build my teams well, making sure that they feel comfortable, and can provide feedback if they feel something might need change without being too worried. I will make sure that the culture of the team is such that the team is constantly in team building activities, which can even be as simple as getting lunch together with your team. I will also try to do some cross training. This is because in my field, people need to be masters of many different programming languages, so knowing how to do multiple things will be very useful to both them, as well as the company.