Building great teams in the Age of AI
Updated: Jul 14
The journey of building a team has no fixated end. A great team is one that comes together on a mission of bettering themselves first and then having that reflected in the work they do. The workplace is no battlefield, it is a farming field, you plant seeds and you learn how to grow your crops.
It takes a whole lot of vulnerability to be yourself at work and this is what I promote on my team at work. Vulnerability at the workplace was a foreign subject in the post-industrial era, but as we are approaching an age of AI-driven work and automation, the main ingredient to a coherent and high-functioning team is their ability to express their fears and joy and be themselves at work. As a team leader myself, I acknowledge that I have my times of sadness, stress, and grief. Every person comes to work with the baggage of ‘life matters’ and if we are able to take a sneak peak, we are able to work with our team members with a lot more empathy.
We come together knowing that each of us is on a journey and each of us has a set of desires, challenges, and fears that we are working with.
It also takes a whole lot of knowingness that each has her own strengths and areas of improvement including the captain of the ship. No leader is exempted from sharing. People come to work not to be instructed by a person, but rather be lead by a person who shows them that they know better. People come to work to be inspired. This requires the skill of listening and collaboration. The captain of the ship is there to listen, lend a helping hand, to offer security and protection. When members come together knowing that work is a safe haven, they achieve a lot more.
And then comes the realization that one hand can never clap alone and it’s in the collectiveness of our efforts that we can achieve great work- TOGETHER. Micromanagement is the best killer of productivity. If you happen to suffer from this syndrome, rest assured that, with enough awareness, you can get rid yourself of it. Communicate your tasks very well, update the team on their progress and the progress of others and have them united under one view of an overall project. Acknowledge their contributions no matter how big or small and extend your appreciation in formal and casual forms of communication. It takes a tiny little pat on the shoulder to draw a smile on someone’s face.
And finally, build the element of trust. Trust is not easy to come and takes time to build up. Start with clear and succinct communication. Listen as much as you can. Help by asking how and not instructing how. Trust also means you fight for your team, and you protect them when needed. Trust is built by building boundaries with your internal stakeholders, by asking for promotions, raises and recognitions when needed. Trust also happens when you acknowledge problems and not deny them. And finally, the secret element to trust in a team is for the members of the team to believe that no one is holding any ill intentions towards them, and here is where a leader needs to facilitate those clear lines of communication.
It is by fostering those golden rules of human bonding that teams can function with great productivity in the age of automation and AI.