Does teamwork work? Really? If so, how do you know? Here are six basics by Phil Van Auken to help you understand why teamwork does work:
- Teamwork works because it sharpens people’s interpersonal skills. Interdependent team members have to get along, because they can’t work alone. When someone else helps “butter your bread,” you learn how to see eye to eye with them.
- Teamwork works because of its internalized ideals. Team members work together because they share ideals that transcend the individual: cooperation, accountability, client-focus, and even occasional personal sacrifice.
- Teamwork works because it stimulates communication. When coworkers cooperate, coordinate, and control quality standards, they naturally communicate. Talk promotes everyone’s professional well being.
- Teamwork works because it ensures mutual accountability. Without the peer pressure of teamwork, the team’s inevitable weak links (professional incompetence, personality dysfunctions, disorganization, unreliability, etc) continuously eat away at both people and productivity. But teams have a nasty way of holding their members accountable for “screw-ups” and bad attitudes. Accountability is upheld by self-interest–we have a stake in how other members of the team perform.
- Teamwork works because it generates a strategic point of view. People who work together survive and thrive by focusing on their common strategic mission: Why are we here? What are we striving to accomplish? Who do we serve? How well are we performing? Strategy is the nucleus of extraordinary performance.
- Teamwork works because it motivates people by making them feel productive, appreciated, needed, and unique.
Phil Van Auken