Developing a Hive Mind: The Essentials of Team Building

"A leader's job is to build a team and then get them to perform at their highest level. A leader's purpose is to remove and reduce the obstacles that are blocking the team or the individual from achieving the goal." - Robin Chakrabarti, Empresario Capital Partners

Whether you're socially active, socially awkward, or prefer solitary confinement, there's no denying that working as a team is the best way to complete a project. If you're running a business, you're going to need an effective team to execute your plan to achieve your goals. Developing a 'Hive Mind' so all the pieces fit together to become one perfectly oiled machine is going to take some work. It doesn't happen automatically.

THE PIECES

Bees have practically perfected the 'Hive Mind' concept with over 50,000 buzzing employees in every colony. With that sort of a size, if a bee colony was a company, it'd be Google.

There are three main roles in a beehive:

Queen_Bee.jpg


THE QUEEN - Management - Every team needs a leader. Even in a democratic group of people, someone will emerge as the leader, it's impossible to avoid. The Queen controls the 'hiring and firing' of all the other bees in the colony and leads the development of her team.

 

 

 

Drone_Bee.jpg



THE DRONES - Middle Management - Their job is to please the Queen. They're also the first to get kicked out when things aren't working properly.

 

 

 

Worker_Bee.jpg


THE WORKERS - Employees - They're small, they're strong, and they're the reason the hive works. They work the hardest, they achieve goals, they get the job done. A hive fails without its workers.

 

 

 

If you're reading between the lines, it's easy to see the parallels here. Most businesses, even small ones or start-ups, need a team of people in order to succeed. How that team operates and interacts can make or break any business. That's why it's important to develop a 'Hive Mind' when it comes to teamwork.

village-of-the-damned-original.jpg

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF A LEADER

While 'Hive Mind' sounds like a made-for-TV sci-fi movie (and it was http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1550506/) its foundations are firmly grounded in science. There are two styles of leadership in a team environment: democratic and autocratic.

A democratic leader depends on their team to help make decisions and defers to other's expertise when working on projects. This type of team is often very cohesive and can easily work together. An autocratic leader rules with an iron fist and often prefers to manage their team through threats and fear-based tactics. An autocratic leader will select team members they believe are the best at what they do coupled with a type of person that can be easily influenced. A democratic leader will select who they believe to be the best for the job and is more likely to select individuals who will fit well into a team environment, who can read emotions, and those who can exert a 'likeable' attitude.

Strangely enough, both methods have varying results and the type of team is often dependent on the type of leader. Some people actually thrive under autocratic leadership as, for example, working under the threat of a pending job loss should project X fail, can motivate individuals to do the best job possible. But for the wrong personality, that kind of impending doom causes loss of productivity and a lack of job satisfaction.

download.jpeg

COLLABORATION. COORDINATION. COMMUNICATION.

Now you've decided on which type of leader you are, how do you build a perfect team who can truly embrace that 'Hive Mind' and achieve all your goals, dreams, and make you a lot of money? Building a team that will work together means you need people who can manage their emotions (on the surface at least) and then they need to be more than adept at translating those emotions into effective communication in order to create a thriving team environment.

Always bear the three C's in mind when building your team:

Collaboration - Working with others is all about adaptability. Everyone has different personalities, and when you do find someone who has a similar personality to you, you might not like them because, well, they're too much like you. Being flexible and adapting your attitude to be more cohesive with those around you makes collaborating a lot easier.

Coordination - The organization and implementation of ideas naturally comes with a certain amount of compromise. Part of being a team means you need to listen to others, be open to constructive criticism and realize that taking a different point of view is often just the thing you need to take your idea or project to the next level.

Communication - A team environment is not the place to be silent. Effective communication means recognizing body language and social queues. It means expressing your opinion while being thoughtful and receptive of other people's feelings. It means maintaining eye contact, speaking clearly, being respectful, and seeing things from someone else's perspective.

Pay attention to the different types of personality on your team and how to best harness those individuals. Keep your team diverse! Having similar personality types means there's more likely to be confrontation.

If your team, under your leadership, can harness these three 'C's, you'll be able to develop that team into a 'Hive Mind' that can work towards your end goals far more cohesively and effectively than a team that lacks the ability to work together.

Remember, there is no 'i' in team. However, that's just basic spelling and really has nothing to do with anything.