Updated: Oct 23, 2019
"Team Player", "Teamwork Skills", "Work in collaboration with others" ... all are examples of ways we highlight one of the essential skills needed by anyone looking to fulfill his / her career or hope to be promoted at work. However, we still fail to work in teams, and we still struggle to show that we have this skill. So, what are the reasons for failing to work as a team? (Check part 1 and part 2 of this blog)
3. Environment not suitable for teamwork
What is the ideal teamwork environment? It is the environment where 1) brainstorming and sharing ideas is encouraged; 2) collaboration is the norm; 3) joined projects and team utilization is the business norm; 4) offering help is highly recognized and appreciated; 5) healthy frictions are accepted and even encouraged.
I’ve discussed the healthy environment for teamwork in a separate blog, because I believe this is the most important factor for building effective teams. This environment should abolish the three enemies of accepting tasks and collaborating with others that I discussed in my book. It should have the structured and objective mechanism to recognize the effort of each member of the team, and realize how these efforts joined together to accomplish the task in hand.
“Work as a team” … Do not say it, do it! You can put all the rules and regulations that push for teamwork; you can talk about teamwork in town halls, call for it in staff meetings, and appraise it on the company’s website. All this will never create a true teamwork environment unless you, as a leader, personally practice it with your colleagues. Establishing a true teamwork environment needs a basic yet usually forgotten rule: lead by example. You need to be the role model to your peers and colleagues and even to your superiors, showing how you set the company’s environment to be teamwork-friendly by actually working with and in teams, encouraging open exchange of opinions and ideas, recognizing collaboration between employees, and encouraging the participation in joined tasks.
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