Teamwork & Collaboration
What this looks like:
Willingly works with others and strives towards a common goal for the team’s collective success
Considers best interest of the collective team above interest of self
Shares thoughts and ideas, as well as, listens to others points of view (and actively solicits others opinions)
Gives equal weight to others’ needs and concerns when suggesting alternatives and making decisions
Recognizes and treats all managers and colleagues with kindness and respect (even in times of conflict)
Gives credit where credit is due
Offer help. Take initiative to offer help before being asked to help.
Try this: When you see a colleague struggling with something i.e., carrying boxes, looking puzzled at the computer screen, etc., ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Even if there isn’t, chances are they will greatly appreciate your offer of assistance.
Try this: If you manage others, volunteer someone from your team (if time permits) to help out a teammate who’s working on a significant project against a tight deadline.
Ask for help. Soliciting input from other people shows that you value their opinion and want to work with them. People also love it and are inclined to help when you see them as a subject matter expert.
Try this: Identify a process, project or skill that you need to improve. Reach out to someone and let them know that you’re stumped. Ask them if they have any suggestions on how to resolve this issue.
Use ‘we’ language. ‘We’ language or we-centric terminology include words such as we, us, together, our, etc. Self-centric words include I, my, mine, etc. Using ‘we’ language sets an environment of togetherness versus competition and credit-stealing.
Try this: When communicating about team projects (both in-person and via email), use we-centric words versus self-centric words, even if it may mean downplaying your contribution. (Use your best judgement here). E.g., We had a remarkable quarter. Our sales revenue have increased by 25%. How can we resolve this? What would you suggest we do?
Establish a culture of teamwork. Market yourself and actively let people know you are here to help them.
Try this: Moving forward, introduce yourself to new colleagues who join the team or company. During each meet-and-greet, make it a habit of reinforcing that you’re “looking forward to working with” the individual and “let me know if I can be of any help.” These simple, yet impactful gestures set the tone for a collaborative (vs competitive) environment.
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Resources for more inspiration
Fast Company: Four Reasons Why the Most Successful People are Great Collaborators by Faisal Hoque
Forbes: Six Ways to Improve Teamwork and Enhance Productivity by Young Entrepreneur Council
Huffington Post: Mega-Collaborations: How Big Teams Can Work Together by Annie Murphy Paul
Jostle: 12 Easy Ways to Improve Workplace Teamwork by Hannah Price
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
FYI For Your Improvement by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger - Chapter 38: Organizational Agility
FYI For Your Improvement by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger - Chapter 42: Peer Relationships
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
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