Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” You may have a collection of people you work with, but do you really have a team?
Calling a team a team doesn’t necessarily mean that it really is one. Working together for a common goal is as important on the football field as it is in the repair shop – the characteristics of what make a successful team are often debated, but many experts point to five key factors that help describe a winning team.
- Trust – to really grow and prosper, team members must learn to trust that they don’t have to do it alone. Leaders must be willing to let their team members assume responsibility and members must take responsibility for carrying their share of the load.
- Conflict Management – Conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Through a difference of opinion, team members can often make better decisions. However, as we’ve seen too often these days, difference in opinions can lead to judgment, and listening and understanding may be lost. Things aren’t always us against them – strive for a win-win scenario.
- Flexibility – on a productive team, innovation, creativity and risk taking are celebrated. Teams are often most successful when team members complement each other, not just mirror each other. Integration of different personalities and acceptance of past experiences can help guide a future decision. Recognizing that not every try will be a success, you’ll be able to learn from mistakes. As Thomas Edison famously said, “I never failed – I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
- Communication – be sure that everyone on the team gets the same message. If team members have different understandings of what they’re supposed to do, how they’re supposed to do it and why, it’s likely that results will be less than expected. This doesn’t mean just following blindly – but without active participation and healthy feedback your true message might be lost.
- Leadership – Success isn’t really about what you’ve convinced your team to do, it’s what you’ve inspired them to accomplish. In its truest form, leadership is about empowering team members to be the best they can be.
Solid direction, mentorship, counseling and coaching will help your team pull in the same direction and not only answer the question “What do we do,” but “How can we get it done.”
This video is sponsored by Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.