Getting through life is not a solo endeavor. You depend on others and others depend on you. Teamwork is essential for success. A rowing crew team is a perfect example of this concept; everyone is literally in the same boat and must work together in order to reach a common objective. If each person was doing his own thing, no progress would be possible.
Even though you may be independent, you still rely on the effort of others for your well being. The basic necessities are all the result of the labor of others. It’s impossible for you, working alone, to provide for your every need and desire.
A great way to look at this is to turn the word “team” into the following acronym:
Together Everyone Achieves More
Obtaining the knowledge you need is the result of teamwork. You will consult with expert professionals to get advice. Their readily available insight frees you of the need to learn everything yourself, from scratch.
You turn to skilled craftsmen to build and repair. Most of us have neither the time nor expertise required to handle the task we turn over to them. Additionally, their experience allows them to do it right the first time, saving us time and money.
The power of teamwork is leveraged by highly successful people. They form a collaboration where everyone benefits more than if each person were acting alone. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of teamwork.
Divide the task and double the success. Let each person tackle what they are best at. The most effective teams contain the most diversity in terms of skills, ability, and talent. A team’s strength is as a synergistic unit rather than a collection of individuals who compete with each other.
Utilize the team’s brainstorming potential. When facing problems, more ideas are better. Each team member has their own perspective, experience and expertise. You want your team members to question and challenge each other’s ideas rather than everyone thinking in unison.
Creativity is dependent on diversity of ideas. Innovation takes place when people approach a problem from different perspectives. Don’t be limited by only considering previously used approaches. “That’s the way it has always been done,” is poor reasoning. Always seek new and better ways.
Open, honest, and respectful communication is essential. Each person should focus on clear communication that is easily understood by the others. Trying to be impressive with fancy vocabulary or technical jargon is counter productive. Team members will disagree, but should never attack each other. Don’t allow personalities to impede progress. The team needs a common purpose which unifies everyone.
Each member of the team is simultaneously a student and a teacher. Everyone has something to offer while learning from each other. Teams break down when they become contests between the members. Seeking to show off dilutes the team’s effectiveness.
Forming an effective team takes time as well as carefully selecting the right mix of members. The relationships that form between the team members enhance the team’s effectiveness. Strive to keep your team in tact for the long term. It’s much more efficient being able to reuse a team rather than continually forming new ones.
Teams must remain positive. Their objective is to find solutions rather than endlessly rehashing problems. One negative team member can severely inhibit the team’s effectiveness. The fact that there is a solution for every problem must be a core attitude.
Use these principles to build and develop the teams you need to solve problems and attain goals. Help others by being a part of their teams. Sharing knowledge is just as important as gaining knowledge. Through teamwork, you will accelerate the progress along your path.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2012 Bryan Golden