FINDING EACH OTHER’S STRENGTHS and identifying those things at which we excel was the goal when Law Practice Division (LP) staff recently devoted a full day to team building—but we discovered much more. LP has a full-time staff of 14 and works with dozens of vendors and other entities throughout the year. So, it is all too easy to just focus on getting the work done and not taking the time to get to know one another on any other level. LP staff was therefore extremely lucky to have a professional come in and facilitate our day devoted to team building. The group was able to get creative and have fun problem-solving. Team members were exposed to one another in a different atmosphere and environment and connected with people they do not work with on a regular basis, even though we share the same space.
Proactive team building is the best kind. LP did not put this day together specifically to address and overcome any single internal issue or problem. We did so to make an effective team even more effective. Too often, managers wait for a crisis or problem to have a team-building day. LP staff has a lot of new players, so this initial day was devoted to building a team and fostering closeness. Our planned follow-up team-building days will seek to strengthen our team while addressing challenges of change and growth.
How well LP staff members get along—their personal interactions and connections, their friendships and overall social cohesion—benefits everyone in LP. The culture that LP strives to achieve is one where both the staff and the volunteer members are fulfilled as they work cohesively toward a common vision. It is not enough to simply hope everyone will get along and unite in the cause. Setting time aside to form bonds and enjoy each other is critical. Each person on the team should feel a connection to the vision.
We must extend a special thanks to LP’s team-building facilitator, John Mitchell. John, owner of KM Advisors LLC of Chicago and LP Council member, volunteered his time and extensive expertise to facilitate the day. John did a great job and set the stage for expanding the trust and disclosure among everyone on the staff. John’s knowledge of the ABA has given him a deeper understanding of ABA culture, and it enabled him to offer input and insights on how LP staff could work more effectively within the larger organization. Without his help, we could have lost focus and lost sight of our desired goal. He reminded us all that team building is a fluid challenge—something that is continuous. LP staff is thankful we were able to pause our operations and devote some uninterrupted time to building a better team.
LP staff is filled with experts in many areas who want to help the members achieve their goals. To that end, LP has created a staff page to share who we are and what we do with everyone. Please visit lawpractice.org.
LP’s team found this day valuable and considers the day to have been just the beginning of our team growing together and forming deeper connections. LP wants to connect with everyone, so watch, follow, connect and “friend” LP through our social media.