Teamwork has a bad reputation - wrongly
Teamwork has a bad reputation. “TEAM” is often used as an abbreviation for “great, someone else does it”. And then there is the aspect of social lazing around: as soon as individuals work collectively with others towards a common goal and their individual performance is not known, team performance drops - at least for simple tasks.
But teams have a bad reputation, quite wrongly. Because teams can achieve a lot together. This is best shown by ants: I met the artist Stefano Benassi while on vacation in Tuscany. He has already exhibited his sculptures and pictures internationally, for example in Zurich. Stefano, who originally comes from Liguria, currently lives and works near Montalcino in southern Tuscany. Quite a leisurely life, by the way, because when we visited, his only worry was that the strawberry jam and the elderberry that he was going to add had the right taste.
But that day I not only got to know Stefano and learned that strawberry jam can be refined with elderberry - I also learned the story of the ants. And it was inspired by an experience Stefano had while working in the garden. Stefano had spent two days preparing the tomato patch: dug up, weeded, dug planting holes. His goal: to plant all plants before the rain announced in the weather report.
Learn from the ants!
But it always turns out differently and secondly than you think: Because Stefano had done the math without the ants: As soon as he had planted the first plants, the tiny ones got on with it. Rain or tomato plants: Stefano could not continue with the setting as he had planned. And found himself in the uncomfortable situation of being stopped as a giant in the plant bed by a horde of tiny ants. Rethinking was called for, a new strategy was needed. One that could deal with the surprise ant attack. And despite all the planning, there was none!
In our society or too Companies it doesn't look any different, as history shows: Here, too, tiny little rulers can overthrow rulers and machines stop - at least if they all run in the same direction. Interestingly, this possibility is currently ignored by both sides. In many cases, there is also no strategy against surprising events - even though a lot of time was spent on planning beforehand.
7 tips: This is important to note for productive cooperation
But how do you ensure that the team pulls together in the long term? First of all, the basics have to be right. For example, there should be common goals in the team, everyone should have their defined role and tasks should be properly delegated and communicated. To ensure that everyone works productively together, the basic factors should be right.
- The common goal must be right. How did the team actually come together? What personal goals does each team member have? And do you manage to agree on a common goal?
- The distribution of roles must be right. Have you ever thought about which of you is particularly good at something? I don't mean expertise. Can e.g. B. Is someone particularly good at bringing things together systematically, someone else is the great creative in this team? And do you also use the special talents in a targeted manner to advance your team?
- IAlways remind you of the importance of the team. In order to prevent a drop in performance, it is important that the team repeatedly clarifies its importance - for example by visualizing the development of the joint collaboration. How was that actually - did you get started and thought, now let's see what develops? Or did you also plan to develop the team from the start - with all the consequences that this has?
- Everyone does their part. In order for teamwork to be successful, it is important that each team member can make their own individual contribution to success. This increases the individual's sense of personal responsibility for the results that the team achieves.
- Finding ideas. How does it work for you when you are looking for new ideas: is someone sitting at a central point where everything comes together? Or do you argue and decide everything together?
- Delegate tasks and communication. How does it work when you delegate tasks? Which means and channels of communication do you prefer to use: Personal conversations, eMail, Telephone, social media, meetings? Have they changed over time? And how do you make sure that the other person has correctly understood what you want to communicate?
- Learning effects. Was there a point in the team development where you first had to take a step back, but which later turned out to be a necessary and useful learning step?
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German edition: ISBN 9783965965416
English version: ISBN 9783965964815 (Translation notice)
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