Many times clients will tell me how hard it is to get their people to become a functional team. I have found that in many cases managers or team leaders think that it should be easy (especially if this is their first try at putting a team together). Creating any type of team takes time, patience and communication (a lot of it) and the willingness to move through the bumps along the way knowing that they are going to build a great workforce.
Overall, we must continue to remember that we are working with “people” and we can be difficult as we all are different. A team can only truly succeed if its players are willing to put others on the team ahead of themselves and keep their focus on the common purpose and performance of the teams goals.
Being selfless and focused on the team goals is not easy to do all of the time, but it is necessary to do in order to have a triumphant team.
Along with these two key elements for team success, there are 7 other elements that need to be displayed by all team members at all times.
1. Be generous – The heart of selflessness is generosity, it brings people together and advances and enhances team efforts. If each team member is willing to give of themselves generously to the team as a whole, it will be successful.
2. Mutual accountability – Each team person holds the others accountable for the success of the organization.
3. Avoid Internal Politics – One of the worst forms of selfishness can be seen when one team member positions themselves for their own benefit regardless of how it might damage the team (playing for themselves). Good team players worry about the benefit of their teammates more than they do of themselves.
4. Display loyalty – If you show loyalty to the people on your team, they will respond with loyalty. One for all and all for one!
5. Common approach – Interdependence over independence. The team members work together, helping one another see the big picture of what needs to happen instead of just individual, small parts.
6. Complementary skills – A variety of talent, skill and ability are needed for the team to be successful. It takes time to get the right people on the team and in the right position.
7. Promote someone other than yourself – Find positive things to say about your teammate’s actions, accomplishments and qualities and talk them up. Everyone appreciates when their efforts are noticed and acknowledged.
These 9 key elements will make a big difference in your work team. It is worth the time and investment to discuss often, as a team, the ways that you could continue to improve how the team works, which in turn will improve the work culture extensively.