partner and co-founder
of Denver, Co.-based
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in your practice?
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to share your ideas.
In college, I had the opportunity to play rugby at a small private school in Santa Barbara, California. These were some of
the best times in my life as I created lifelong
friends, learned how to be a teammate and,
the hardest part of all, lived in a beautiful
place. I also tried to convince my parents
I could do the 6-year degree plan, but that
didn’t work out.
The captain during my freshman year,
Maury Hayashida, was from South Africa
where rugby is extremely popular. Many of us
were rookies to the sport, and Maury told us
the game would require greater team effort
than any sport we had ever played: “When
you have the ball in your hands, no one will
be there blocking for you, so go hard, but just
know there will be 14 of your teammates right
behind you, ready to pick up that ball and
continue to move forward.” For some reason,
that statement stuck with me and transferred
over to my professional life.
The success of what you do will come down
to those you surround yourself. Getting those
around you to see your vision and then get
total buy-in is what you should aim towards.
But how do we do that? Here are five ideas to
help you improve your team unity.
1. Engage in meaningful (in-person)
dialog. Even in today’s world, where text
messaging and emails are the new norm for
communication, nothing can replace the value
of meaningful face-to-face conversations. Take
time to sit down and get to know your employees. Learn what their personal and professional goals are so as you make decisions for
the business, you will have a better sense of
how this may line up with their desires as well.
2. Show your appreciation. In research
about employees who are unhappy, their
number one complaint is that they do not feel
appreciated by their bosses. We all want to feel
like we have a place and that we are contribut-
ing to something greater than ourselves. Let-
ting others know this more often goes a long
way. Be specific about the appreciation so the
individuals on the team realize you notice the
little things they are doing.
3. Listen to everyone’s ideas. Your staff
is in the trenches on a daily basis, allowing
them the opportunity to see what is working
and where improvements can take place. So
the next time you are thinking of an idea for
your business, I would strongly encourage you
to get opinions from your entire staff. Schedule a monthly meeting with your team with
the sole purpose of discussing as a group any
new ideas and watch what will happen.
4. Trust your team members. This is an
area I had to grow into over time. When you
first start out in this business, you are often
advisor, secretary, janitor, CFO and sometimes
counselor to clients. So as things grow, you
have to delegate and trust those around you
and not micromanage. People act the way they
are treated, so trust and give ownership to
them. Obviously, you should have systems in
place so that you can make sure projects are on
track and being executed the way you desire.
5. Be spontaneous and have a little
fun. Everyone wants to have fun at work.
Now, “fun” can be interpreted a little differently by everyone, but the key is there should
be a sense of enjoyment and being able to be
yourself at work. Fun happens when people
feel well connected, where there’s a mutual
respect, open communication, acceptance of
who people are and collaboration.
When teams are working well together, it
makes it easier to be spontaneous and have
some fun. Sometimes we all need a break from
the seriousness of business.
I hope this topic sparks some ideas that you
can implement with your team. As always,
I look forward to continuing to share different strategies that will help you grow your