“Teamwork doesn’t seem like work.” Early on in my career, a friend used to say this all the time usually while playing teams in Halo. But it has become one of my top 5 sayings while working on teams. Probably because people find is so cheesy they can’t help but smile when they hear it.
It seems almost everyone is on a team at work. I’ve had the great fortune to be part of several great teams. There is one team that has stood out for me in my career. We were a high performing team, and it was fun. Years ago, I was in a focus group on high performing teams. While the facilitator was asking questions, I was able to reflect on how special it is to be a part of a top performing team. Here are a few things that I learned.
Respect: when developing a team, start with the confidence that every team member is here for a reason. There is something you can learn from them, and they can add value to the team.
Shared Goal: our shared goal was always more important than personal goals or roles. We were four people working together to solve X. We all had valuable skills and knowledge to contribute to the shared goal.
Listen & Pause: we did more listening than talking and we were comfortable in the silence. Sometimes we needed to pause and allow an idea or perspective to settle. We respect each other to listen to everyone’s opinions and created a safe space for people to speak up and be heard.
Effective Communications: we provided clear status reports and action items. We didn’t spend hours on conference calls or holed up in a conference room. We connected when we needed to but gave each other time to complete action items.
What are some of the key lessons you’ve learned while being on teams?