Any organization functions absolutely well when all its employees, teams, and divisions work together as one cohesive unit. Teams are made up of diverse roles & individuals, and within that lies the strength of any particular team. Diverse talents, diverse temperaments, and many times, different priorities in individual capacities can come in the way of team goals. But, when channeled to work toward common goals, fostered with a common bond and irrigated with mutual transparency, these same differences can be turned into strengths for the team, to get to their goals with a mindset to make it happen. Thriving in diverse teams is the key to any individual accomplishment and pursuit of meaningful work in a world, that we continue to complicate in pursuit of simplicity.
The first and a crucial key to ensure a team builds, grows and stays together is mutual RESPECT & TRUST! Don’t you think that its an integral part of us in all scenarios, professional or personal, to trust each other to have our backs!
For teams to work cohesively, it’s important to formulate, agree upon, and socialize the rules of engagement from the get go. The foremost goal in any team should be to reduce friction and increase productivity to reach the goals set. What better way to get that done than to ensure everyone on the team understands that they are all ONE unit going after a common vision and mission. Not just at the team level, but this is a vital aspect at the unit and division levels as well as at the organization level. No matter which team, unit, division or organization you belong to, you are all in it together. The lesser the need for personal fiefdoms, they smoother the coordination of work and goal achievement, irrespective of intermittent failures or successes. No more sales vs. operations, or operations vs. technology or anything else. Its always organization vs. clients or rather organization for clients! When a failure occurs, its every division’s responsibility, not just the unit, team or the individual in whose role paradigm it occurred. The entire organization needs to hold accountability to own and correct it. Everyone loses or wins together. There is no internal blame game here!
Teams are made of fast and slow thinkers, introverts and extroverts, and also optimists and pessimists. That’s a part of natural selection. What’s significantly vital is to have ground rules as to how members of the team treat each other, how they interact and not personalize opinions, how they will not just agree to disagree but also agree on chasing options together and most importantly, maintain mutual respect irrespective of agreements or disagreements at work. Despite the differences members of a team have, they are all smart and productive, lest they wouldn’t be on the team! That’s an undercurrent everyone needs to maintain top of mind.
Next is pragmatism, the ability to be realistic in situations and not be swayed by rosy tinted optimism or dark tinted pessimism.This is generally seen during times of conflict or challenges. Pessimists see it as unrecoverable and optimists see it as a challenge that is destined to be won. Both are extreme cases and a bit of realism always helps to observe an issue for what it is, in view of changing internal and external environment dynamics and then, take a call.
A constant need for appreciation always exists within any team. Give praise freely and generously for the right reasons. Praise in public and admonish in private. When I say, admonish, don’t take it as punishing someone but having a reasonable discussion as to the changes you need a team member to adopt to get on the right track of progress, in case they are off track. Positive affirmations always have a way of getting the best out of people, both on a professional level and a personal one. It also helps bolster the bonding within a team, which will reveal itself in tough times, when the team sticks together and everyone willingly goes above and beyond to tackle challenges.
Diversity in teams always means there is a need to manage different cultures, thought processes, habitual frameworks and more. Yet, if managed through the thread of trust and camaraderie, they can be the most productive and result oriented. These teams experience success that would otherwise not be possible. Besides, the diversity in thought of such groups make for great innovation, creative problem solving and unique points of view. Mindsets move away from rigidity to flexibility, beliefs and temperaments are challenged and forged differently due to the mixed influence.
The bonding within the team, unit, division or organization takes their performance to an unprecedented level. Leaderships skills are built fast and business results are delivered flawlessly. Team morale is at its best and trust reigns supreme.
Now, which competitor can go against that?
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