Over the years, having a good network of friends is one valuable lesson I have gotten from mentors and counselors. You can think of it like an onion - the outer layer are folks you enjoy spending time with but may not feel comfortable sharing your deepest secrets, while at its center lies family or those closest to us. They become our safe space, who we trust & open up to.
When people feel safe, they are more likely to share their ideas and opinions without fear of repercussions or judgement. Leaders have long understood the importance of building trust within their teams. Teams that are built on mutual trust and respect create a strong foundation for collaboration, innovation and success, and using visual thinking tools can help foster that trust.
If you're in a new leadership position and have the task of building a team, engaging with visual tools will help you at various stages of team-building, from hiring through to assessing performance. Below are a list of key visual tools you can use for each stage of a team-building process:
Building a Team:
Step 1: Hiring:
- Ask and facilitate questions that can help identify the skills and competencies needed for the team.
- Create a visual to illustrate what a successful candidate would need to look like.
- Use job postings, graphic design skills, or design apps to create visual recruitment materials that draw in the right talent.
Step 2: On-boarding:
- Use visuals to explain job roles and responsibilities, team dynamics, and the organization’s mission.
- Create visual maps that illustrate timelines for tasks and milestones.
- Utilise mind-mapping to organize complicated projects into manageable tasks.
Step 3: Working Together:
- Utilise team collaboration platforms with shared whiteboards that are interactive.
- Create facilitated visual maps for team goals, objectives, and timelines for each task.
- Use online tools like video conferencing to communicate across different locations.
Step 4: Creating work:
- Use brainstorming tools like sticky notes and whiteboard to come up with creative solutions.
- Create visuals for task management, idea generation, or project planning.
- Employ visual representation of data to track progress and develop insights.
Step 5: Assessing Performance:
- Utilise visuals to track progress, performance metrics, and customer feedback.
- Create visual reports to identify areas of improvement or further progress.
- Use online tools like heat maps or surveys to gain insights from data quickly.
Step 6: Celebrating Success:
- Reinforce team successes by creating visuals that show progress and results.
- Use design apps to create celebratory visuals, such as infographics or custom graphic elements.
- Utilise online tools like video conferencing to recognize individual contributions and collective accomplishments.
As you can see, there are many visual tools you can use to help build successful teams but it all starts with the basics- open communication, trust and care. Simon Sinek said it best:
"Trust is built when those who are trusted demonstrate that they are reliable, competent and connect with the people they are entrusted to lead."
Do you use visual tools in your workplace? Let us know, or if you need help with discovering how they can help you, get in touch with us.