The Importance of Teamwork
Teamwork is one of the most important elements of success. It does not matter if you are the leader of an organization or an entrepreneur who is largely self directed and autonomous. In both scenarios, how you work with other people often shapes and defines what you are able to achieve. As a leader, if you are able to generate motivation, this translates into success for your company and growth for your brand.
Building a cohesive and supportive team might seem like a very simple or straightforward undertaking. In many ways, it is, but especially as your organization expands, there is an even greater impetus to be intentional about the way you generate and support teamwork across members of a working unit which may come from different educational and cultural backgrounds.
In a best case scenario, the people you work with will feel that they are invested in the outcomes that will bring your organization success. They know that even in tougher times or in the face of challenging feedback that you support them and are invested in their growth. They feel motivated to go the extra mile to secure victory even when faced with challenging circumstances. They know that by working together, you will achieve more than what can be accomplished on their own.
It Takes a Village
When an organizational culture of trust and mutual respect is established, innovation flourishes. People are not afraid to ask the tough questions or to bring ideas into the fold which might challenge convention. They know that even if their views or ideas are outside of what has been mainstream that they will be supported.
This openness of communication is extremely important if you want to move beyond what has worked and step into the bright and expansive future of your company. Face it: as easy as it is to stick to what works, real growth happens when people feel they can take chances and they know that they will not be in a position to lose their responsibilities simply because they try something new and it does not succeed.
Especially in today’s economic reality of geographically dispersed teams and working units comprised of individuals from dissimilar backgrounds, effective communication is the glue that holds everything together. One way to create a culture of open communication is to be intentional about how and when you schedule meetings.
Everything from where a meeting is conducted to who is able to speak and kinds of topics take up the time that you are together can define how your team communicates together. You want your employees to feel that their ideas are valid and that their concerns are meaningful to you. At the same time, you want them to respect your policies and be dedicated to listening to the things they need to know to advance the success of your organization.
Together Everyone Achieves More
When respect is baked into your organization’s culture and people feel they can open up, great things happen. It was true in Kindergarten and it still holds weight today, think about the word itself: TEAM.
Together, Everyone, Achieves, More. It is not about what is lost through teamwork but what it offers, how it adds value and utility to the things you are already seeking to accomplish. Everyone is constantly busy, stressed and exhausted, however when they as individuals know they are working to build something bigger than themselves and working for people who support and nurture them, your organization is able to accomplish so much more.
An effective team is cohesive, responsive and focused on the conditions it needs to create to support future success. It does not dwell on what has held them back but looks to the future with a sense of enthusiasm. It does not have favorites, but is grounded in the idea that it is the sum of the members comprising it which hold the true power to its greatness. Finally, it is able to respond to challenges as they arise with an organized and unified response; everyone knows their role and what they can do to support the steps necessary to get ahead.
To support effective teamwork and create a culture of respect within your organization, focus on the following three principles. Whenever you communicate to your team, consider how these factors are shaping the things that you would like to say and what you are hoping to accomplish.
The Foundation of Teamwork: Openness, Trust, Respect
Openness: Team members are connected to each other and the shared goals they are seeking to accomplish. They know that the people around them might come from different backgrounds and may have different interests and skills but realize that everyone is a useful and contributing member of the organization.
As you and the people around you are more open, there is more opportunity to express opinions which might challenge convention and lead to innovation.
Trust: Team members need to know that they will be supported if they make mistakes or if they make choices that lead to growth. As your team grows, this trust will lead everyone to feel more comfortable and settled in their position and with your company. They will know that together, you will face adversity and overcome.
As you and the people around you build trust, there is more opportunity to take risks which will fuel growth.
Respect: When things go wrong, it is really easy to play the blame game. Blaming each other for missteps will not create the conditions necessary to adequately address the issue at hand. Feedback is important but when it is delivered in a supportive and friendly way it leads to a willingness to change and not feelings of inadequacy.
As you and your team respect each other, there is more opportunity to work towards shared goals which will lead to success for everyone.