I am a firm believer in the power of teamwork, when used effectively, it can produce miracles. The perfect example of this is Leicester City FC taking the Premier League title in May 2016. Jamie Vardy may have been man of the match, but it took a common goal, perseverance and unity to ensure they took the title home, writes Performance leadership Coach, Cherie Concannon.
With the New Year imminent I have been reflecting lately on how much my client base has changed over the last two years, going from large corporates to really successful SME’s. Turnover for these companies can range from £500,000 to £65 million and each company is different in size. It’s my job as a Success Coach to make these SME’s or individuals as successful as they can be and to do that I need to focus on the engagement and productivity levels needs of all of the people within each company. Some the client companies have hundreds of employees, while some only consist of two people. My aim for every company I work for is to create cohesive, harmonious and productive teams with everyone engaged and committed to delivering their objectives.
Here are my fundamental rules of successful teamwork:
Commitment and Communication
Teamwork happens most naturally in crisis when people put aside their personal feelings in favour of the greater good. This is very difficult to reproduce in non crisis situations as it requires people to be 100% committed to each other, which often goes against the natural instincts of a person when they feel their way is the ‘right way’. Resolving this requires dedication and quality communication. Communication is key to the success of any team. Before any decisions can be made by a group a clear goal must be set and agreed. When people know what they are doing, why they are doing it and how they need to do it, there is a higher inclination to commit to achieving a team’s objectives. If even one person is out of sync with the rest of the group this usually means communication has not been effective enough and needs to be adjusted accordingly. The aim is to create empowerment for each team member. Effective communication ensures everyone is equal and on an even playing field during the process. Continuous effective communication also creates trust within a group, which is vital to a team’s ongoing success.
Successful teamwork is not just about the ability to agree with everyone. It requires the maturity and the courage to disagree with those you are working with without resorting to conflict and negativity. Teamwork has little room for individual ego. A good team can discuss and disagree with each other without resorting to petty squabbling and back-stabbing.
Creative Problem Solving and Decision Making /Consensus
Multiple brains working in synergy will always outperform a single brain and multiple brains in conflict will rarely outperform a single brain. Society has a bias towards left brain thinking. Often considered the more adept at logical, rational and critical thinking, left brain thinking has been considered the more desirable attribute for problem solving and task management. However, to be able to creatively problem solve, synergistic group right brain thinking is what is often required to produce miracles and this can only happen when an environment is set up to produce positive emotions. Consensus decision-making is fundamental to the success of team work and can only be truly achieved if each of the elements outlined can be applied. The ability to step back from one’s own singular ideas and thought processes and become inclusive and collaborative within a group for the greater good of a common goal is crucial to creating a high performing team.
This level of high performance teamwork is exceptionally difficult to maintain. Again I use Leicester City as an example. After the glory of the Premiership victory has faded, the challenge of maintaining their success is already showing. Once a decision has been made by a team, it is imperative to the success of that team that everyone to agree and back all decisions made during the team working process.
For more information about Cherie Concannon, her work and to book onto her events, you can visit her website at www.cherieconncannon.co.uk