How to make your team feel great

Happy teams are successful teams. And if you want a happy team, you need to make people feel good. Psychologist Sarah Lewis shares these tips on how to do it...

by Sarah Lewis
Last Updated: 12 Apr 2013

Start meetings with a round of success stories

Give people the opportunity to share the best of their week.

Share stories

Build the sharing of great stories about the achievements and success of the organisation into your induction programme. Get the owners of the stories to share their best moments of working for your company. This will help to inspire new recruits.

Manage your feedback ratio

Encourage your managers to offer feedback with a ratio of at least three positive comments to every negative one. Research has shown that by reaching and exceeding this magic ratio of 3:1, teams become more innovative in their thinking and so more successful.

Focus on strengths

Helping people understand what their natural strengths are and how to use them aids performance. The more you can help people find ways to use their strengths at work, the more likely it is that they will become self-motivated in their work. But first they need to know them.

For example, ask ‘When are you at your most energised at work?’ ‘What feels really easy and enjoyable for you that others sometimes struggle with?’

Use them

Once you and your team know their own strengths, find ways to use them more at work. Equally important, find ways to do less of the work which drains you of energy. Allocate tasks by strengths rather than role and delegate by volunteer rather than imposition when possible.

Make sure other people know your strengths, so that they can call on you for opportunities that play to your strengths.

Work on your responses

How you respond to someone’s good news is as important for relationship building as how you respond to their bad news. So, to encourage positive relationships at work, help people to be actively positive in their response to other people’s good news.

Find the ‘feel-good’ people

Some people have a naturally sunny outlook, and people like to be around them. The existence of such people at the centre of a team creates positive energy. They have the knack of giving people little boosts of good-feeling during conversations, and they leave feeling better than when they arrived.

Notice who they are, place them strategically in projects to which you want to attract other people.

Sarah Lewis is a chartered psychologist and author of ‘Positive Psychology at Work’.

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