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Do You See the Same Goalpost?

Publicerad 2018-09-05, 08:00

There is a saying about teamwork, which I often come back to. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

Over the years, I have realized the truth in this powerful statement. Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.

More and more companies today are pivoting to a more participative work culture — where everybody plays a part, and everyone has a voice. Companies are now putting their employees at the center, recognizing the innovation that teamwork can generate. But it isn’t always easy to work together in a team. Especially for motivated and driven people who’re charting their own individual path to success, it can sometimes feel like you can do that task yourself better and in half the time.

I know what that feels like. As a woman entrepreneur who has run her own company and worked across multiple sectors, I wear many different hats. And I know, that regardless of my capability, there are physical limits to what I can achieve alone. That’s what I’ve tried and tested over time. I’ve made it my mission to help individuals come together as teams, and teams come together as powerhouses of ideas and action. Over the years, there are four principles I’ve followed and four stages I’ve identified for carrying a team to success.

Principle I: The Benefits of Team Building Pay Off in the Long Run

Always think of team building as an investment. A little more time and effort spent now, could result in better results, better outcomes, and better ideas in the future. We must remember that every team is made up of individuals who are unique and have their own ways of expressing themselves. As a team, everyone will need to unlearn and relearn so that they can find balance together as a team and the individuals who make it up.

The team-building model I have created for group development is one that has worked successfully in corporate offices and organizations. While there are many aspects of group development, the solution for you will depend on what your organization needs. Below, I share the fundamental principles behind the team-building model I have created.

Principle II: Four Fundamental Stages of Team-building

A successful team isn’t successful by default, it evolves over four basic steps. Simple steps, but they carry so much weight! I arrived at each of these steps by observing nature, stressors in modern life as well as the potential of technology. By balancing these aspects, I have been able to create effective models of team-building for each client. Without further ado, here are the four steps that drive a team to success.

Principle III: A Successful Team Accounts for Individual Differences

A number companies today use a wide range of activities and exercises to help break the ice and work better as teams.

But team building is more than just a weekend getaway or an ice breaking session. Traditionally, such activities are designed to suit some personality types more than others. Extroverts and strong personalities are able to take the lead, for instance. Sometimes people start to unconsciously form sub-groups and develop affiliations with some members, alienating themselves from others.

My strategy behind team building is that each individual’s personality needs to be assessed, to know their strengths and weaknesses. That’s when each person can contribute what they can best, no matter whether they’re a natural leader or a quiet worker.

Principle IV: No Team Can Perform Unless They Can All See the Same Goal Post

Perhaps the most important thing I have learnt over 20 years of coaching and working with corporate employees at each rung of the ladder, is this —

In order to achieve any degree of success, all the members of a team need to be ALIGNED TO THE SAME GOAL.

When each team member is invested in one vision, that’s where the magic happens. That’s when they will get to know each other (Ice-breaker stage); they will gradually start expressing themselves (Over the Border); they’ll begin to create shared understanding (Cracking and Hatching); and finally, they’ll turn their ideas into action (Flowing).

In summary: how a team can work towards the same goal:

• Working with others can be challenging, but it is rewarding in the longer run.
• The output that teams achieve by working together is many times better than what an individual can achieve alone.
• Learn how teams can align themselves to the same goal and establish a set of collective norms for best results.
• Understand group dynamics and account for individual differences, so that your team can work to its fullest potential.

At the end of the day, we are all human, and by that definition, we are all less than perfect. It is when we come together as a cohesive whole that we can achieve something that comes close to perfection. A successful team succeeds together, but they also fail together. They experiment together, and they learn together. There is no secret sauce to an effective team, but by setting the right goals and recognizing individual strengths and differences, any team can achieve game-changing results.

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