3 Tips for a Team You Can Count On

The Ideal Client Manifester
The Ideal Client Manifester

Wednesday  December 22, 2021

Last week the 15th and biggest typhoon this year ripped through the Philippines, destroying thousands of homes, including that of our dear team member, Catriona Palo.

Catriona and her family are running out of safe drinking water and food, as debris is blocking access to supplies on many roads. While they have found temporary shelter in a small room, they are not sure where they’ll be able to spend Christmas.

It’s heartbreaking to imagine what she’s going through right now as I sit in my safe, comfortable home wrapping a bounty of Christmas presents for my daughter.

I’ve sent money to Catriona right away and I’ve started a fundraising campaign here for those who want to contribute to help her rebuild her home. She’ll also need to repair her car, which was damaged by the typhoon as well.

Catriona has been a trustworthy, valuable team member for several years and is like the glue that holds our operations together. We’re definitely missing her!

More than that, I worry for her safety and survival, and want to do whatever I can to help her create a better situation for her family.

I’ve come a long way in building positive relationships with my team members. 

I care deeply about their well being, and I’m extremely grateful to have their loyal support.

There was a time 8-10 years ago when I struggled through some painful learning curves with my team members. I was fortunate enough to attract some awesome people to support my business, but a few wrong fit people got in, and I didn’t let them go fast enough to avoid the havoc they wrecked.

Those negative experiences left me traumatized and feeling that every team member was a potential liability. I felt reluctant to grow my business because that would mean depending more on people who might stab me in the back or let me down.

I actually saw building my team like building a house of cards - it could all come tumbling down at any moment.

Well, that’s no way to grow a business. Fear-based thinking and actions only manifest more reasons to be afraid.

As I matured in my CEO role and learned from team building experts, things got better.

I began to see my team members as valuable assets instead of liabilities. While each of their roles is different, we’re all rowing together to fulfill the same purpose. It’s like we’re on a boat and we can go much farther and faster while we’re in sync.

Plus it’s SO much more fun and expansive to grow with a great team. The people I’ve been able to attract are solid, good-hearted people who consistently show up and add so much energy to our community.

This gives me incredible peace of mind.

Here are my best leadership mindset shifts that have fostered a strong, cooperative team, who I can always count on.

1. Appreciate your team members - often!

Some people think because they’re paying a team member, they’re giving enough. They demand hard work and sometimes even expect their team members to tolerate inconsiderate behavior by their boss (like calling on them outside of their normal work hours often or over asking for their time beyond the expectations).

The reality is, you are replaceable. Your team member can always find a new job or client if they’re unhappy working with you. So never take them for granted.

Always appreciate them for choosing to invest their time and energy in your business. Be grateful for their dedication, loyalty and hard work. And show your appreciation often! Tell them, acknowledge their good work, give them surprise monetary bonuses (or gifts). You can even host special trips for your team to build their connection and treat them to a fun experience.

2. Honor healthy caring boundaries with your 

team members

Healthy boundaries are the foundation of any positive relationship. I’ve found that maintaining professional relationships with my team while still caring about their personal well-being is the best balance.

In the past I’ve hired personal friends, and that usually didn’t end well. In fact, my worst team nightmare came true when a friend turned against me and cost me over $100,000. It was a huge mistake to hire her, but an even bigger one to let her stay on the team too long. I tried to help her get better at her job when I should have let her go as soon as I saw she wasn’t the right fit.

That’s often what happens when we hire personal friends - we overlook or tolerate things we shouldn’t in their performance. That can lead to souring a relationship and making things far worse, even if your intentions are good.

It’s also important to respect your team’s time while setting clear expectations about when and how they need to show up. If they’re employees you set their work hours; if they’re contractors they set their work hours. But clear communication about these hours is important on both sides.

It’s ok to ask for someone to go above and beyond their normal work hours occasionally for special circumstances or emergencies, just don’t make this a habit. That’s a surefire way to burn your team members out.

3. Communicate with meetings (and video software) effectively

I cringe to remember times in the past when I would send long emails to a handful of team members, detailing a complex project and their tasks involved. I expected each of them to read and comprehend this long email - and then I moved on to other things hoping they would just “get it done.”

This is NOT an effective way to lead. Long emails are almost never a good idea when communicating with your team. First of all, they often don’t convey the tone you want them to. Second, the chances are slim that every part of the email was fully understood or retained.

Team members need interactive ways to connect. My business flowed so much more efficiently when I began hosting regular team meetings. When I had a bigger team and we worked together on more frequent projects, we met once a week.

Now that I have a simpler business model and my team is small (but mighty!), we need this only during special launches. I still meet with certain team members monthly or bimonthly.

With my technical team, it has been GREAT to use video messaging software like Loom. I can visually explain the parts of a task to them and show demonstrations, which is much easier (and more effective) than typing out a long email.

I also love using Loom because it’s so flexible. You can get a similar video meeting feeling without having to match up schedules. Since several of my team members are located on different continents, this really helps us work well together.

Help Catriona Rebuild Her Home After the Typhoon

If you’d like to contribute to the repairs for our team member Catriona Palo’s home and car, which suffered extensive damage during the recent typhoon that hit the Philippines, check out our fundraising hub here.

Any amount you can give will be much appreciated!