Have you worked for teams where everyone pitches in, and you all work together in perfect harmony? That is an effective team! Do you always play to your strengths in a team, or are there times when the group you’re in just doesn’t gel? Either way, getting the job done is the least being an effective team player brings to us.
If you want to do something (anything) more quickly, cost efficient, effective and joyful, do it with the right team.—Reza Ghiabi
How to be part of the right team? We have to make it the right team, starting with ourselves! Read On.
It takes knowledge, time and practice to learn how to get the job done with a group of people. As I mentioned in my other article, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, in Reverse, at a time like this when everything is social, “without collaboration, there is no survival”. But the only thing we can (almost) control is ourselves to start a movement and create mutuality with others. This new direction is especially apparent in contemporary teamwork – and here are five tips to make it more successful.
- Share your success – When the spotlight is on you, shine it on your teammates. Name them and share the vignettes that make that success memorable and creditable. They’ll remember. After all, whatever you did, you couldn’t have done it without them, that’s why you built or got into that team in the first place. I really like this tweet by Roy Saunderson that says “The sooner recognition is given, the greater the afterglow”.
- See insults as opportunities to do good – during a Spanish league match, an angry spectator threw a banana at the Brazilian footballer, Barcelona’s flying fullback, Dani Alves. Without a pause, Alves picked up the banana, peeled it and ate it. That two-act playlet was captured on hundreds of smartphones in the stadium. It turned a potentially violent crowd situation into a unifying and celebratory scene for those who were outraged by the racist insult. Kare Anderson, author of “Mutuality Matters How You Can Create More Opportunity, Adventure & Friendship With Others.” writes “The sweetest revenge is a well-lived life. Turn acts of ill will into healthy opportunities to glue us together around actions of goodwill. One way is to provide a prompt, uplifting, unifying, visible and vivid contrast to someone’s negative action.”
- Agree on some ground rules – To create a common ground on which you can get more done with less friction, agree on a few simple rules including that you can change rules as you went along. Here is a set of generals rules I usually offer to my potential future teammates:
- We’ll always start meetings with a prioritized meeting agenda and finish them with an assigned action plan.
- We’ll be transparent: each conversation will be shared with all people included on that conversation unless we have the authority to hold it
- We’ll not negatively personalize the discussion
- We’ll always respond directly to a question rather than giving background first or changing the topic
- We’ll always do not just disagree; we offer another option
- Meet in person, decide in writing – An effective team always gives equal opportunity to slow and fast thinkers (they can be equally smart) to take part and decide.
- Record what matters – Immediately after an event or meeting, take 60 seconds to write down the most important points you heard. “Don’t consider this note-taking but rather an act of interpretation, prioritization, and decision-making” is advice Robyn Scott passes along from an anonymous éminence grise of the business world.