(Guest blogger: Lynn Townsend, a former Humanergy communications champion)
Humanergy is all about teamwork – in the office, at home and helping our clients work together more effectively. Is there a time when going solo is better? We think so. Consider going it alone when:
Teaming doesn’t enhance results. If you don’t have to work collaboratively to be successful, don’t. The number one rule of teamwork is to involve people who will positively impact results.
Trust doesn’t exist. If you don’t trust the other person, then there’s work to be done to repair what’s broken. Schedule one-on-one conversations. Set mutually beneficial ground rules. Then begin the process (often a slow one) of rebuilding the relationship.
Misunderstandings block the road. If there is an elephant in the room—the metaphor for a big issue that hasn’t been resolved—name the elephant. Break apart the pieces of the misunderstanding together, talk about what went right and focus on solutions. Then, take the elephant where it belongs…to the zoo.
Facts, data and constant contradiction muddy the water. Does a prospective teammate continually spew knowledge? Is he an expert in every subject? Is she quick to point out the flaws in everything everyone else says? Hmmm…this can also be called intellectual bullying. Run; don’t walk, to find real experts that will help you push your results ahead.
Destinations are polar opposites. If your goals and potential team member’s goals are miles apart, going solo might be best. The alternative is to look for common ground. Understand where collaboration will work for your goals and theirs. Ask open-ended questions that help you know their needs and expectations. If you can’t collaborate now, keep their goals in mind for future opportunities.
Working with others can improve your success 128%. (Okay, the percentage is totally made up.) Or teaming can be a bust when there’s no trust, elephant-sized misunderstandings, intellectual bullying or divergent goals.
Babe Ruth reminds us: The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. Look at your action list today and potential partners. Ask yourself: “To team or not to team?”
For more team building tips, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of istockphoto
It’s great to read a message that shares when teamwork may not be the way to approach a challenge/issue/assignment. Teamwork is important in most work environments; however, unless the team is fully functional it can create a bigger challenge than the one the team is tasked to tackle. I like Lynn’s commentary on how to address teams that are broken…and that going solo is an appropriate option.