Monday, December 19, 2005

Team work key to achieving the goal


A team should be built on mutual trust and there should be an atmosphere
of honesty Henry Ford once said, "Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." As such, the
importance of being a team player and gelling together in a team cannot be
undermined. Again, being a team player is something that cannot be isolated
to a single situation. You will always be working in a team — whether you are
studying or working, whether in an organisation or in your own business.

A common example in everyday life is sports such as cricket and hockey.
What works well here stems from the fact that it is a team. In this feature,
let us review some simple tenets that you can keep in mind to be a great
team player.

Group dynamics
Being in a team means that there is a common purpose that drives the team.
This is the goal or what needs to be achieved. Also, the team goals should be
clear and understood and accepted by each member. This will ensure that all
team members understand the goal clearly and in the same way. Another
vital aspect is that there should be complete clarity about who would be
responsible for what, so as to avoid overlapping responsibility and authority.
A team should be built on mutual trust and there should be an atmosphere
of honesty and openness among team members.
Also, it is critical to be loyal to employees as the same is expected from them.

A good way to foster a sense of belonging and ownership is to involve the
members in team-building activities and events. Having opportunities to
interact outside work will not only encourage open communication but also
develop some long-lasting relationships.

For any issue that needs an overall team consensus and commitment, involve
the whole team in the decision-making process. This will get a buy-in from
each team member and also a satisfaction that everyone's opinion matters.
In a team, ensure that there are no blocked lines of communication and
everyone is always fully informed. This should leave no scope for grapevine
or rumours.

As part of a team, each member needs to be committed to the goal and
should be able to see value from individual contribution to the team. When
you are committed, this is more or less easy to achieve. This also means that
it is not just you, but also the other members who would need guidance and
assistance. This is something that would be mutual.

You must not just be knowledgeable but also exhibit the right degree of
enthusiasm. As a member of a team, seek responsibility to make the best
use of your talent. Be energetic and have the drive to work and inspire the
same in your fellow members. Every member is accountable not only to
himself/herself but to all members of the team. Setting correct expectations
can increase commitment.

Leadership
A team has to be steered and managed well to be able to reach its goal.
As such, the coordinator should typically lead by example. This means doing
a good share of the work and being accountable for the same. A good
organisation is really needed in proper distribution of work. Having the ability
to delegate and assign tasks and ensuring successful completion of the same
is required. Ultimately, it is every member's responsibility to ensure that
everyone has a task to complete and that the person doing it is the best resource
for the same.

Virtual teams
The challenge in today's business model is to also manage and be part of
virtual teams that are not bound by location or geography. You could be
in one location and your team member in another and at times in different
continents.

In this case, each team member is part of a project group or task force.
What is needed here is the ability to connect across different cultures and
time zones. The scheduling, timing and execution of tasks are important as
they impact the overall performance.
In fact, diversity is the key to a successful team.

A team should be made up of people who have different opinions & handle
work in different ways. Remember there is no `I' in the word "team."
Simply stated, it is less "me," and more "we." And as we know, the whole is
always greater than the sum of the parts.
So, here's wishing you happy synergy times.

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