By Ken Goodfellow

It’s hard to get individuals to buy into your plan, isn’t it? How do you get your team members to think with a team mentality instead of acting in their own best interest? Business owners and team leaders have struggled with this and Realtors are not any different. In fact this is more of a challenge in real estate because of the dependency of quality relationships between agents, buyers, sellers, and most importantly, the team.

It’s easier for a single agent to maintain their success. It’s much more difficult for a salesperson to transition from a successful single agent to a team leader who’s responsible for communicating their vision and managing every aspect of the team.

Every member of your team wants to perform their role their way. More often than not your team members are driven by personal success rather than team success.

So how do you develop a culture that’s driven by team success from the group of agents you already have? Better yet, how do you get these individuals to do what you need and want them to do in order for your business or team to be successful?

There are three basic elements that need to be in place for any change to happen within your organization:

The desire to change

The individual must be motivated to create new behaviour, or have a compelling reason to do so. If they think that what they are doing is fine, they won’t feel a need to make any changes. To create the desire for change, a good leader must provide an awareness of the need to change. They should have a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished. This means showing the individual the benefits of leaving their comfort zone, discussing why the change is required and making them aware of what the consequences are if they don’t make the appropriate changes. You can do this through training, open dialogue sessions and by providing examples of what their competitors are doing.

The ability to change 

Knowing your team, you should be able to determine whether or not your team member has the ability to make the required changes. If the motivation is there, but the skill level is not, the skill can then be taught. But if there isn’t any motivation, it’s highly doubtful the skill will be adapted. A team member should have a clear understanding of their own role within the company and know that their ideas and thoughts make a valuable contribution to the success of the company. Never underestimate the help or assistance an employee may require. Although you may know a lot about the business, someone fresh in the industry will need a mentor to show them the ropes.

The permission to change 

The change must then come from within. The individual must allow himself the permission to make the changes and they have to agree to those changes. If there’s no desire, then time is truly being wasted.

A team is a group of people that all function together as one, while each individual contributes their own talent towards a common goal. They recognize they are independent, but understand that the goals of the team are accomplished with mutual support. There’s no time wasted struggling over turf, or attempting personal gain at the expense of others. A group, on the other hand, consists of individuals who work with an administrative purpose. There is a huge difference in what can be considered a team, vs. merely a “group”.

In a group, individuals focus on themselves and are not involved in the unit’s objective because they are not a part of any planning. They are told what to do and trust only themselves. They receive good training, but are limited to applying those new found skills in their jobs because of the restrictions put on them by their manager or group members.

Individuals in groups are unable to resolve conflict situations and the manager typically puts it off until serious damage has been done; creating a “fend for your own life” environment. They may or may not participate in the decisions that affect the group. Conformity becomes more important than results due to control issues. They work in an unstructured environment with undetermined standards of performance. Their leaders don’t walk the walk, but simply lead by the seat of their pants.

Groups are uncommitted towards excellence and personal pride because their personal expectations are not fulfilled and they are not learning or growing. This creates mediocre performance, or worse yet, high staff turnover.

In a team environment individuals claim ownership of the job and unit and are committed to the values of the common goal they help to establish. They are brought in on the planning process. They contribute to the organization’s success by applying their unique talents. There is a climate of trust because they are encouraged to use their ideas. They have open and honest communication and are encouraged to continue developing their skills and to apply those new skills in their jobs, which are supported by management.

Teams understand that conflict is a normal aspect of human interaction and see it as an opportunity to explore new ideas and creativity. They work to resolve conflicts quickly and constructively, and they participate in decisions that affect the team and understand that the leader must make the final decision whenever the team can’t decide. Positive, win-win results are the goal at all times.

Teams have a structured environment and know the boundaries and who has the final authority. Their leader sets the agreed high performance standards and is respected by the team that is willing to participate. They are determined to work together towards their goals and the goals of the team, since they were involved in the planning process. They also believe that their team leader is committed to their success.

So if you want a team, rather than a group of people working for you, it’s important to create structure, accountability, standards, commitment and an involvement of ideas.

To sell the team concept you have to involve the team.



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