Yes, it’s a thoroughly unprofessional heading, but… how many of you can relate to that thought?
How many of you have wanted to release your inner vandal on those motivational posters that say things like “Individually we are one drop, but together we are an ocean?”
As Luis E. Romero notes in his Forbes article What Everyone Should Know About Teamwork, “We all know already that teamwork is the key to success in most realms of life and business…. However, teamwork is a challenge in and of itself. It requires that people manage their egos, develop humility, communicate effectively, resolve conflicts and, above all, commit to one another and to a common goal.”
Read through that sentence again and focus on each of those challenges for a moment.
Not an easy list to knock out, is it?
Think of the most difficult team you’ve ever been on. Did the people on that team struggle with any of those issues? Was there someone arrogant or argumentative on your team? Were there slackers who couldn’t be counted on to do their part? Was there someone whose “input” made absolutely no sense to anyone because he was just talking in circles and corporate buzzwords? (You can assign a name to every one of those, can’t you?!)
It’s high school group projects all over again, but it happens with adults in the corporate world, day in and day out. And people who work on those teams say it sucks. And truth be told, we’d rather just get rid of the problem teammates instead of working to fix the underlying issues (and, truth also be told … they’re the problem, not us!)
But that’s not the reality of it. We work in groups (or “teams”), whether formal or informal, in-person or virtually, in almost every kind of work environment. In his book Humans are Underrated, Fortune editor Geoff Colvin tells us that to compete in today’s world, we don’t need the best individual performers… we need the best teams. Having the “smartest guys in the room” won’t do you much good if they can’t work with others effectively, he says.
And Romero tells us in his Forbes article, “Only through teamwork can we combine different, complementary points of view to identify and seize hidden synergy opportunities, overcome difficult obstacles and achieve challenging objectives.”
We do know, intuitively, that it’s our differences that make us great collectively. We just wish the whole teamwork thing weren’t so difficult.
Those five not-so-little things that Romero mentioned really do have the power to transform your teams.
Master them, and soon you’ll have your own Together Everyone Achieves More! poster hanging in your cubicle. (okay… one step at a time, right?!)
Want to learn how your team can become more effective communicators and problem-solvers? Ask us about our on-site Everything DiSC Workshops!