October 26, 2017      3 min read

Just as the All Blacks need every member on the field to be equally passionate, hardworking and skilled in what they do, so too must the workplace team be strong and passionate about their business. And here we are talking about every level of the business. A successful business is one where everyone loves to come to work, loves their work and is dedicated about doing the best job they can, regardless of their role. So, how do you get your team passionate and working together harmoniously?

Working Group

This is just the basic gathering of a group of people with a rough objective. There is not a great deal of commitment required for a successful working group and as such, the objectives are generally quite straightforward and the complexity of the task is quite basic. The key here is that every idea needs to be heard and group members are encouraged to contribute independently to the common goal. Essentially everyone brings their different contributions and skills to the meeting that have been achieved in their own time and a coordinator must integrate it all to meet the objective.

Pseudo-Team

Interestingly, in this second stage, teams often appear to decrease in productivity and collaboration. There are integration and communication issues that need ironing out which can result in decreased productivity and achievement but in reality, the team is still moving forward in their development, if given time for this stage to pass. The difficulties experienced are simply due to different personalities, working styles, experiences and skills being integrated and of course, there are always going to be growing pains. But fear not, it is a sign your team is developing so long as they are given time to work through the issues.

Potential Team

This stage is all about the team developing a culture of their own that incorporates all the attributes each team member comes with in a collaborative manner. Friendships develop and the team members should start to develop trust in each other. The team members learn to listen to each other, trust their ideas will be heard and they start to form a basis from which the team will operate in the future.

Real Team

The team now start to work towards shared goals and objectives, using communication and working protocols that are unique to them and serve every team member. They learn how to resolve any issues between each other for the benefit of the team and the common goal and they motivate and strengthen each other, having respect for everyone’s individual roles.

Dream Team

This stage is dedicated to the well-oiled machine where the individuals have ‘grown’ mastering personal skills such as humility, listening, the ability to learn and be taught, forgiveness and respect. They bring these attributes to the table and they desire to work well with the other members, valuing them as both colleagues and people. They look at both victories and failures as opportunities to encourage each other on the road to continuous improvement and they seek to be on the forefront of industry trends and develop an edge that puts them ahead of competitors. This stage is empowering both in their work and their sense of belonging to something that is truly great.

So, what can you work on?

These concepts may seem airy fairy but often if the systematic approach to teamwork is followed, the company reaps the rewards. There are some common themes that emerge from any literature on developing teamwork, most of which are self-explanatory. It is important to encourage listening, communication, honesty and respect in any team. Team members need to know they can trust each other and that they and their their opinions are valued.

There also needs to be a certain level of dedication to the team and the common goal, even when things get tough. If these difficult stages are not worked through, the team will crumble and will never achieve excellence.

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