How to Develop Teamwork?
The one biggest difference maker – team members being team players.
- What is always part of the solution to any teamwork challenges – people on the team being team players.
- And what always comes first, team players or teams and teamwork? The answer is also always team players.
For many of us, this probably seems basic, but it can be difficult and we can get it very wrong. Here are three reasons why:
There is a disproportionate focus on developing the team versus the team player. There is a lot of great information available in this world on teamwork and team building, which is wonderful. What’s not so good is that much of the information on teamwork and team building is based on the assumption that team members have the basic team player skills that make the teamwork and team building all possible. If you’ve ever done training for teams before that hasn’t worked, and assuming the training was reputable, lack of team player skills would have to always be an underlying cause. Even if it was just one person, an outlier, who wasn’t a team player, that’s all that it can take.
There is an incorrect assumption that everyone defines a team player the same. Today, more than ever before, there is an absolute necessity for understanding fundamentals to being a team player. Team player skills need to be calibrated. Think about this: many people first learn about being a team player during their upbringing. As a result, people may have learned different information, people may practice what they’ve learned to different degrees, and people may have developed some good and bad habits. Then we bring these people together as adults on all kinds of teams, and we rarely take the time to calibrate all of our learnings to define the team players that we want and need to be for each other. Clarifying and aligning team player skills has never been so necessary with the diversity and challenges within 21st century teams.
There is a misconception that by emphasizing teams as a “we”, there won’t be “I’s”. We need to challenge the phrase, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” From a spelling and metaphorical perspective, yes that’s true; from a real life team perspective, no, that’s not true. There are ‘Is’ on teams, that’s what they are made up of – Individuals. You have individual players. Before you have a team, you have ‘Is’ (individual players) that are either team players or ‘Is’ (individual players) that are not team players – or some combination of the two.
Where to Start to Achieve Teamwork?
Before we can win the ‘game’ as a team together, whatever the ‘game’ is, we need to know the ‘rules’ of how to play the game as a team player. If you have challenges with negative attitudes, closed-mindedness, disrespect, or lack of accountability, this complimentary online video training series on the Team Player Fundamentals will help.
We all have choices. We all have influence. For teamwork, the most positive choice that we can make – being a team player. Also for teamwork, the most positive influence that we can have – being a team player.
Being team players is truly the one biggest difference maker to teamwork, and how we can love our teams more: love the people on them more and love being on them more.
Check out your free online video training series and learn something to help you as a leader and team player – create the positive.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.