Teamwork has been quite the buzzword over the last few decades of business, and it is not likely to diminish over the next few decades. The concept has been around for thousands of years and continues to be relevant today. Perhaps it is time to get a practical understanding of it and how we can use it to grow.
Teamwork as most people understand it is; a group of people working together towards a known, common goal.
We apply this to business, sports, recreation, leadership, settings equally. Wherever teamwork is applied; trust must be present.
The easiest application of teamwork is that of a shared workload – where everyone does the same thing. Here the team accomplishes with ease what an individual could likely not. Whether it is horses or hamsters, machines or man; this sort of a team works best when everyone contributes the same amount of force, perfectly in synch.
As long as everyone contributes their share, none will be overly exerted. Because of this; trust tends to be fairly low and the only sort of ‘leadership’ needed is in the design of whatever system is being used.
The most practical application of teamwork is that of a diverse workload – where everyone does completely different aspects of the work (not necessarily at the same time or place). Contributions can come in the form of physical effort or labor, as well as a myriad of dimensions of mental or emotional effort.
Trust is significantly higher in this situation because it is difficult to evaluate and compare efforts when everyone is doing different tasks.
Here is an example of how this trust might come into play. My not being particularly adept at setting up fields and processes in accounting software is makes it difficult to understand and predict what is needed to properly do so – requiring me to place higher amounts of trust into the partner tasked with doing this.
Another prominent challenge I find often is the trust between departments – like Marketing and Sales. While the marketing efforts produce leads and interest from the community, they must trust the sales department to properly convert this interest into revenue; meanwhile the sales department trusts that the leads are qualified and aligned.
These hardly compare to the trust we all place with the top leadership of companies. Employees, vendors, strategic partners, and all matter of stakeholders trust that decisions will be made for the benefit of all.
Leaders should know that each of us have our own ways of measuring this trust, and it directly results in our efforts. When trust is high; we are happy to contribute our emotional labor along with our physical – bringing all of our strengths, passions, experiences, and talents. When trust is low; we tend to merely follow the established rules and policies.
Start by developing one clear and central purpose to unite ALL your efforts. Google does this by setting and living their mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally available as well as useful. What is YOUR central purpose?
Good news for those who might feel they have lost some trust among their team. Damaged trust can be repaired and new trust can be earned simply by being consistently authentic. The strength of this trust is a function of time.
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SuccessVentures is now offering an innovative TEAM STRENGTHS ANALYSIS geared to help build trust, understanding, and collaboration among teams. This guide helps to identify situations where each member can contribute their unique strengths as well as insights into their decision-making processes.
We have a few spots remaining in our beta/pilot program. If interested, send me an email to start the conversation