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Building Teams
By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ
Published: 11/07/2011

Teambuilding The art of building teams is not an easy task. It takes a lot of patience to select a good team and use individual qualities to be successful at any task given at work. Building teams should be an enjoyable task to begin with thus the approach determines response. In order to make a high quality selection or appointment one must be skilled in recognizing the individual traits and dynamics of their prospective team workers and match it with the purpose designed.

Fueling the fire to choose exceptional individuals requires a positive attitude that provides the undercurrents to keep the positive energy flowing. This journey of finding good people to be on your team should involve avoiding personality traits that display feelings of bitterness and negativity in doing their jobs, in their lives and in their deeds. In other words, selecting team members must be a refreshing progression that begins with specific factors to look at before a final selection is made. In the end the selection must be seamless like a circle and with the same continuity expected to keep the vitality going.

There are some rules to follow in order to be successful. One must be aware of the scoffer, a very negative personality trait so often found among great people who do good work but infect others with their persistent criticism or harping about what is wrong with things rather than pointing out the right things. A person who makes mockery of others or taunts, tease, rid or bait others into doing things they normally would not do is not a very likely person to be chosen for a team assigned to work on a special project or challenge. Traits such as being contemptuous and disregard for the “rules” are to be avoided as they are destructive in team building and more likely to splinter the group’s attitude, performance and achievements. It is also likely to result in precious time loss on the project. Disruptive individuals are non-contributors to any project and often pollute others to behave the same way. Staying away from those who rather play than work will ensure an affirmative progression in your course of actions.

Check out where these potential team members work, how they do their jobs assigned, which persons they chose to eat lunch with or hang out with is also a strong indicator of their values. It has been said often that where they meet as a group and what they do there says something about their character and principles. Avoiding groups that sneer, jeer, ridicule or mock others is essential to your success. Remember spirits [good or bad] are transferable and contagious and do impact people’s thoughts and actions.

There is no doubt that being competitive is a good trait as well as an internal motivator to keep everyone on their toes and progress forward. Making a project a sport or a game has some advantages for it will create a focus on the team rather than the individuals. Most game plans include individuals but when it is all said and done, it takes a team to make it happen to be a successful game plan. Every person has a role that fits like a piece of a puzzle and everyone must contribute to that goal set at the very beginning of the project. Regardless, when the team shines, everyone shines and when everyone shines, the boss shines as well.

Editor’s note: Carl ToersBijns (retired), worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Carl’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."

Other articles by ToersBijns:


  1. RonaldStewart on 10/29/2018:

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