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Creating Alignment Among Teams

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A frequently discussed topic when it comes to successful teams is goal-setting and ensuring milestones and objectives are met, but a key topic that’s often overlooked to achieve those goals is creating team alignment. This critical topic ensures team members are all on the same page and working together in tandem for a common vision. Without alignment, achieving goals is that much harder.

Leaders should ask themselves: Is everyone on my team rowing in the same direction? Are we aligned on our shared goal?

Team alignment provides for more than just successful goal-setting. An aligned team fosters trust among members, eliminates working siloes, provides a shared goal and direction, and increases purpose and meaning in team members’ work, all of which create a powerful, cohesive team.

Finding team alignment isn’t as easy as it might appear, though. Often, within a team and company, there are many competing priorities and agendas, and members aren’t working as a team toward the same goal. Your job as a manager is to ensure everyone on your team has a clear sense of purpose while rowing in the same direction.

As you can see, leaders play a key role in creating a strong team alignment, and it all starts with creating micro-alignment. This entails looking to assist each member of the team separately and trying to answer: How do I help each person’s goals and objectives align with the team’s?

Then, to ensure you accomplish complete team alignment with everyone rowing in the same direction, leaders should follow these four key steps:

  1. Establish trust. Micro-alignment starts with building a foundation of trust. Do you give your team members a reason to trust your judgment? Can they trust you have their interests at heart? Consider ways you can show your strength of character in your daily interactions with team members.
  2. Create a personal connection with each team member. Does everyone on your team feel heard? Do they feel their voice and opinion matter? Consider how the project or decision may positively or negatively affect each person on your team. Take the time to empathetically listen to their thoughts and concerns.
  3. Use sound reasoning. Discuss with team members how the project or decision will positively benefit the organization. Explain the logic and reasoning to ensure they feel included in the process. It’s also important to identify that there will inevitably be trade-offs for the decision.
  4. Make a connection to team members’ interests. How will the project or decision benefit them and their long-term goals and interests? Will they gain experience, influence, or connections? Taking the time to clarify what each team member may gain will ensure buy-in and alignment.

Creating micro-alignment ensures everyone moves energetically toward their personal goals, as well as the team’s compelling purpose. It’s also important to keep in mind, as you begin to align your team, how the team fits into the organization’s overall vision.

Overall, each of these four steps build upon one another to unlock the full potential of members and helps create a cohesive aligned team that furthers organizational initiatives and goals.

About The Author

Christina Beaulne

Christina is a Senior Instructional Designer for Bluepoint. She is responsible for creating curriculum to help leaders develop their coaching skills to not only achieve personal and organizational goals, but also to create extraordinary impact in the lives of employees and the community at large.

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