Have you heard about the story of “Four People”?
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
“There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”
This is so true when members of a team are left uncertain of their responsibilities and goals. It’s like playing basketball without a coach, or like playing with a team but each one does his own thing. Notice in the anecdote above that there was something unclear about the job that needed to be done, resulting in nobody doing it and all of them looking for someone to blame.
A business, an office, or a team requires teamwork to be successful. The success of a manager or a leader depends on how he leads and motivates his team to work as a whole. I have attended a lot of team-building sessions. They were proven to be effective in building camaraderie and better teamwork. I came up with the 7 keys for effective teamwork and here they are:
1 Set your team goals
- A team should have common goals to make sure it’s headed in the same direction.
- Goals should be clear and completely understood by members.
- Current and future goals should be set in a structured plan, partnered with steps on how to achieve them.
2 Clarify responsibilities
- Responsibilities should be properly divided and well understood to avoid confusion and blaming others for failures.
- Team members should know each other’s unique role and be aware of their contributions.
- Avoid overlapping of authority by dividing the job into distinct parts and explain their accountability.
3 Involve the team in decision-making process
- There are decisions when team members’ commitment is needed, so involve them in the decision-making process.
- Encourage group discussions or brainstorming sessions to come up with better decisions and make the team feel they’re part of achieving success.
- The result of the decision-making session should be cascaded so everyone is in alignment.
4 Embrace diversity
- Recognize, accept and adjust to individual differences.
- Deal with interpersonal conflicts so that they will not interfere with work.
- Focus on each member’s strength rather than their weaknesses.
5 Maintain open communication
- Setup multiple channels of communication where everyone can collaborate efficiently and effectively.
- Make sure everyone is always informed and nobody’s left out.
- Be transparent and positive in sending messages.
6 Build trust
- A solid team is founded on trust and loyalty, which can be earned by spending time with team members with openness and honesty.
- Create team-building activities and events that allow members to build trust in each other.
- Keep your word and show integrity so you can preserve trust.
7 Empower team members
- Provide challenges and show a clear path to advancement.
- Give opportunities to grow, learn and be independent.
- Appreciate efforts and reward improvements.
I want to end this article with a quote from Henry Ford, a successful manager of a motor company:
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that you make use of the 7 keys. I wish you success!
http://www.rare-leadership.org/humor_on_work-business-leadership-success.html for the anecdote, from the compilation of Timothy Conway, Ph.D. (Piled Higher & Deeper).