Teamwork: excuse for social lounging?
Teamwork has a bad reputation. Behind closed doors, "TEAM" is often used as an abbreviation for "great, someone else's". And then there is the aspect of social idleness: as soon as individuals collaborate with others towards a common goal and thereby their individual performance is not known, the team performance drops - at least for simple tasks.
Teamwork does not necessarily have to be unproductive: Much more can a team work extremely effectively - if certain conditions are met. But how do you ensure that the team pulls together permanently? And what challenges do you have to face?
Teams have to pull together - how does that work?
First, the basics must be right. For example, common goals should prevail in the team, everyone should have their well-defined role and tasks should be properly delegated and communicated.
Cohesion in difficult situations also makes teams strong. The big ones know that too Company and increasingly combine team-building activities with unusual outdoor experiences.
Companies love unusual outdoor experiences
Yes, team building in unusual outdoor environments and in extreme conditions seems to have been a trend issue for HR departments for several years now:
The Metro sent young executives to the Antarctic, Deutsche Bahn organizes survival training in nature to weld teams together, and Daimler is climbing the Facebook page with its trainees in freezing temperatures in March.
Do unusual actions actually enhance collaboration?
This raises the question: what can the individual draw from such experiences? Are such actions little more than a nice PR gag by companies or are the unusual conditions actually improving the collaboration in the group? If the latter is true, how exactly does collaboration and therefore productivity improve for the individual?
In order to recognize this, we should first of all remind ourselves of what makes good cooperation in the team at all:
- Keep recalling the importance of the team: In order to prevent a drop in performance, it is important for the team to reassert its importance over and over again - for example, by looking at the development of joint cooperation. How was that - did you start and thought, now let's see what develops? Or did you plan on developing the team right from the start - with all the consequences it has?
- Common goal: The common goal must be right. How did the team actually get together? What personal goals does each team member have? How does it work when your team is looking for new ideas: let the boss introduce you. Or do the team members argue and decide everything together? And is it possible that everyone in the team can agree on a common goal?
- Role allocation and learning effects: The roles have to be right. Have you ever thought about which of you can do something especially good? I do not mean expertise. Can z. For example, if one person is particularly good at systematically bringing things together, another is the great creative person in this team? And do you use the special talents in a targeted manner to advance your team? Was there a point in team development where you first had to take a step backwards, but that turned out to be a necessary learning step afterwards?
- Everyone contributes: For teamwork to succeed, it is important that each team member can make their individual contribution to success. This raises the individual's sense of responsibility for the results the team achieves.
- Delegate tasks and communication: How does that work when tasks are delegated in your team? Which communication means and routes are used: personal discussions, eMail, Telephone, Social Media, Meetings? Have these changed over time? And how do you make sure that the other person has understood correctly what you want to communicate?
5 personal experience in team building
These are all questions that I have been able to answer in a very special team experience - namely on a climbing tour in the Jaques-Cartier National Park in Québec, Canada.
If the Canadian parks are well developed, there are free roaming wolves and bears. And there are steep rocks and dark caves, over and through which we climbed together as a group. Which team experiences could I win here?
- Cohesion makes you strong: We climbed together over slippery rocks and up a steep path. That was only possible because we helped and supported each other.
- Each team is only as strong as its weakest link: On our climb, this old saying came true like no other. Because if you were weak at the back or in the middle, you could not continue at the front either.
- Only if you pay attention to the others, you get ahead: We also had children in the group. These were instinctively placed in the middle of the group to protect them.
- Confidence matters: At one point we climbed through a cave where it was so dark you could not see your hand in front of your eyes. In this situation, we had almost no choice but to trust ourselves blindly.
- Team work goes before ego trip: To extend the elbows would have been less beneficial in this situation. On the contrary, I as an individual also made better progress in protecting the group. Teamwork is about ego-trip.
Conclusion: Always think about the team
After all, that was the insight that I brought with me from this exciting experience: always optimizing one's own work organization is all well and good, but if I do not orient myself to others and respect others, then I too will fail.
Organizing the team work optimally and pulling together in a group is usually just as important for your own success.
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