“Teamwork makes the dream work.”
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”- Helen Keller
“None of us is as smart as all of us.” – Ken Blanchard
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is a progress. Working together is success.”- Henry Ford
“Cowabunga!”- Ninja Turtles (my personal favorite)
I’m sure some of you have heard quotes and buzzphrases like these before! Teamwork. We know it exists! We have seen the power of movements and unity in our history! But what about us? What about you?
You’re a part of a team- somewhere. Teamwork is necessary at work, at home, in our marriages, at church, at school. Like I said, we’re team players somewhere but, I don’t think we always see it that way. We reserve teamwork to sports teams and our kid’s Girl Scouts Troop.
Maybe if we thought about the power of teams and how we could get better at teamwork, we would get a little farther, a little faster. Leaders own their teams successes, pitfalls, and development. When other people win, I win! Here are a few ways to develop, and thoughts on what it takes to have, a team mentality to reach your dreams, live out your calling, and help others to thrive:
- One United Passion- It’s crucial for a team to know the “why” behind the “what” and believe in it. What do we value most? United passion keeps us motivated and resilient when things get tough. If people on our team don’t get this part… all the other points below will be affected and may feel forced. Recruit those who buy in to the vision and who are on board to protect it.
- Get to Know Your Team- Listen, get to know your people and learn their passions. Everyone wants to belong. What makes people tick? How do they operate? And serve them. If you are doing the most important work together, it helps to know your team well and genuinely care for and about them. Teamwork is built on the foundation of trust. Each team member is unique and how you communicate with each team member may be different. Which leads me to…
- Clear & Consistent Communication- Led Zeppelin said it best- Communication Breakdown. Communication should be clear and consistent- no matter which way it is flowing: leader to team member, team member to leader, team member to team member. In addition, listen, follow up, and help one another out. Be honest and respectful. Give feedback, receive feedback. Ask questions!
- Define Roles & Responsibilities- Our gifts should serve and support one another. When everyone shares a piece of the responsibility, everyone has skin in the game. The outcome matters to everyone. When effort is shared, there is 🎉 teamwork 🎉. As a leader, acknowledge that people are happy and perform better when they are in their right fit. ALTHOUGH, sometimes, if we have smaller teams with multiple responsibilities, this may be harder to do. More often than not, we have to do things that are not our strengths. That’s when we fall back to the “why.” If we are passionate about the mission, we will push through the work. We’ll go beyond our comfort zone and learn things outside of our expertise. Why? The end game is worth it, even for the time being.
- Work Hard Together- Constantly examine what the team can do better. How can we better our systems? How can we accomplish our goals/projects? Is what we are doing integrating with our vision and mission? How can we progress forward in talent and excellence? Leaders hold team members accountable; not to get people in trouble, but because it’s about making people better and making the organization better.
- Play Hard Together- It’s ok to laugh together, you know? Fun is an unappreciated motivator. Not only do the good vibes flow but there are plenty of articles out there that show a little fun and laughter every now and then boosts productivity and team morale.
- Display Gratitude- Gratitude should be ongoing, not just every so often, once a year, or at an appreciation brunch (which those are great!). Appreciation can take a public or private form, depending on what you think is necessary and beneficial for that person and even others watching. Showing appreciation and gratitude to well-deserving team members, in the little and large, goes a long way.
- We’re All Different- Once this is an expectation of ours, we will not be surprised when team members act and go about processes that are different from our own. When brought into a healthy collaborative environment, seeing the world differently is a benefit, not a loss. It actually gives a certain competitive edge to your group that others may not have. Disagreements will emerge, but they don’t have to divide.
Which point do you find to be the easiest or hardest for you to carry out?
Is there a point that you would like to see expanded (maybe its own post?)