“Is our team any different from a family?”
Sketching a team tree we establish a rapport between individual members and the team as we :
1. Understand relationships in a better way
2. Identify ourselves with the team/family
3.Feel closer to the team/family
4.Feel safe and valued
Our team is a tree - a symbol of vital strength, it stands when we fall or stumble, yet it sways with the wind when needed.
Individual members are like leaves that help nourish the tree. They are a part of the whole tree not are limited to themselves. With the advent of industrialization and globalization the industrial processes have become increasingly complex. Teams- not individuals have become the basic working units.
As Per the American Time Use Survey, 8.8 hours are spent by Americans at work on an average work day. It is to be acknowledged that these 8.8 hours impact the employee's work as well as their everyday lives as they get to know their coworkers as a family
Uncovering the thought process of major business leaders, we notice some common things followed by them to stimulate the creative energies of their entire team.
What the entire team needs to have is a common vision.
The foremost thing to ponder on is :
“What is to be done?”
Once the vision is clear and the plan is communicated to the team, the focus should be in making the unconscious conscious. Make the team understand that they should consciously do their tasks. Sitting and wasting time will do no good. It will rather lead to duplication of efforts.
Encouraging group work or assigning a task to two or more people can do wonders as this will make them genuinely interested in sharing information. Sometimes even highly creative and innovative ideas lack confidence in themselves. Through informal discussions these ideas come forward and this motivates them to keep performing.
One example that reverberates my mind when it comes to teamwork is an interview of Steve Jobs where he shared his childhood story of how while working in the garden of a neighbor, he noticed how old ugly rocks transformed into polished rocks when put together in a can. It was the friction and rubbing against each other that made them all shine bright. Similar is the case with working in teams, as efficient teamwork brings out the best of everyone. Another insight of major leaders is to provide autonomy to team members. Greater autonomy allows them find new ways of problem solving and they feel a sense of achievement. Give the members time and freedom to commit mistakes.
We’ve all heard the adage
The retaining power of grasping things through trial and error method is much higher compared to other learning methods. The employee automatically deduces irrelevant practices and learns new approaches.
“Once motivated people know what the plan is, they’ll figure out how to do it”. Variance in every person’s ability, skills and interests, renders it impossible to define a specific way of doing things.
Figuring out how to do things, every person has a different outlook to a situation and adopts his/her own way. Grant individuals the power to ‘Have their way’. And once people are given flexibility and are valued, they feel safe. This increases their confidence and “they find gifts they didn’t even know they had”.