“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
- Phil Jackson.
If you’ve ever been in a team, be it at your workplace, in a sport, or during academic projects, you know what the above quote means. The strength and success, if I point out, of a team is not much about how many resources it has or how much money it has. It always has more to do with the unity, team bonding and the camaraderie amongst a team that is how a team works internally and the kind of relationships it has amongst it. A better bonding and relationship within a team is very crucial.
Alright, here’s some data for the geeks.
- According to Salesforce, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failure.
- 50% of the positive changes in communication patterns within the workplace can be accredited to social interaction outside of the workplace, Says Keka.
- 33% of employees said a lack of open, honest communication has the most negative impact on employee morale, According to a Survey.
Allow me to explain via a very simple real life example. All of us love some or the other sport. All of us are aficionados of one or the other sport. Look towards any sports team. The team that dominates doesn’t necessarily do so because it has the best players at disposal but because, the atmosphere within a team is conducive to victories. The people in there get along great, motivate each other, trust others, love each other's company without a hint of negative feelings in the camp, and I’m not being preposterous, just simplifying the huge importance of Better bonding & relationship within a team.
Take Manchester United in Football, or Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1 for example. They are one of the most successful teams in their respective sport and yet, they aren’t doing amazing in the present. They have some of the best players and drivers and yet, they aren't very successful. Why? Well, I’m no fortune teller, but the team is as good as the relationships between its members and a slightest hint of negativity or ill-feelings in a team, eventually rubs off on others and leads to internal problems. A team fit internally is a team that performs best externally. And maybe there’s an issue that is bugging these teams down the inside, which is hindering their goals of reliving their golden days like the time under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson for Manchester United and Jean Todt/Ross Brawn for Ferrari.
Phew, Overwhelmed? Relax, it's normal, stay with us on this one. Now that you know the importance of teamwork and relationships within it, and what absolute bonkers the lack of these can cause to not just your team but to the best teams on Earth, your question may be, how do we work together and build relationships in a team, as a leader and/or member? Swell. You’ve clicked the right link. Following are some useful tips for the same.
Pro-tips for team building and working together divided in 2 sections. (And if you miss Section B, my deepest condolences)
Section A : Let’s go over some characteristics and professional traits, shall we?
1. Positivity and Trust
It all quite starts with trust, doesn’t it? Trust is indeed one of the key factors that holds a team together. As a leader, your trust in your fellow members is divine for them, especially in adversarial scenarios. Nothing quite motivates someone than knowing they’re trusted regardless of the situation. And positivity is the cherry on the cake. Human beings seek vibes and a positive vibe is as contagious as it could be. It serves to uplift the entire mood during failure, rejuvenate people and fill them adrenaline-filled motivation to try harder. A good leader always understands the psychological importance of this and it's impact on team bonding & relationship.
2. Transparency and Respect
Respect is unparalleled in its stature. If your subordinates (and colleagues) know that they’re duly respected for their work by their superiors and not greeted by patronization or malevolence upon their work, they’ll put their heart and soul into working for you because they’ll morally feel obliged to pay you back for the respect you show them. And when everything is clear, crystal clear, your team will feel safe, trusted and respected around you knowing and acknowledging that what they see, what they hear is what there actually is. Nothing behind the back or curtains. This is a crucial factor for team bonding. This helps your team build a very positive and long-lasting relationship with you.
3. Open Mindedness and Responsibility
If it's your team, if you’re the leader, be accountable for whatever happens. You win and lose together. If you single someone out and blame them for our failure, Bite me! A good leader never does that. What's achieved is for the team, what's lost is by the team. If you cannot take responsibility, that's because not everyone is a good leader or team player. Being open minded and receptive to differences is critical. You won’t be the smartest every time around, listen to what others have to say. Evaluate it in terms of the bigger picture for the entirety of the team and then decide. Don’t brush off others simply because they think differently.
Section B : Pro-tips that are almost guaranteed to work (of course, if only you’re dedicated):
1. Back your team during tough times
Since this is a tip from my personal experience, here’s a true story regarding it. I’m a cricket player and have been fortunate enough to have played under the leadership of amazing captains. I remember this one time, when in a T20 game, I had gone for plenty of runs in my 1st spell and when I came for the 2nd spell, I was a bit nervous. My captain tossed the ball to me and said, ”Do as you wish. You know how to bowl better than me. Don’t worry about going for runs. If we lose, it's on me. If we win, you’ll be the man who’d turn it around for us. Do your best. I believe in you, you’ll win it for us, C’mon!” These words ignited a fire in me.The first 2 deliveries, I was hit for boundaries. My captain was as supportive as ever despite that. HE BELIEVED IN ME. Before bowling the 3rd delivery, all that was going on in my mind was that he believes in me, I can do it, I won’t let him down and voila, I delivered a pin-point yorker and the batsman lost his wicket and I did manage to turn it around. My leader’s belief in me made me do that. That's the point. If you back your team in tough times because things are quite easy in good times, they’ll work their hearts out to repay your belief. That created an indestructible bond & relation with him for the amount of faith and trust he had in me.
2. Understand that we are all human & be empathetic
Now, what I mean by this is that we human beings are hardwired to be social beings. We seek interaction with others. What I mean by this tip is be as humanly with your team as you can. In this fast moving, robotised world, we tend to underestimate the importance of the human touch. It might be as simple as a smile, a thank you, or opening a door for someone. Our emotions play a big role in our thinking and if it were false, the entire concept of marketing would have been a flop. Emotions are developed by what we feel and these simple actions make others feel quite good about you. They’ll be grateful, respectful and sincere around you when they know that their leader is as human as they are, and that he/she values them. Get your team together for lunch sometimes, go for an adventure together, or invite them for a virtual hangout. The more you bond and build your relationship as a team off the hour, the better you’re in the hour.
So, drawing curtains, a team is nothing without its members. And by following the tips above, you will ensure that all your team members will gel perfectly, admire and respect you and most importantly, as a team player, you will drive everyone towards success.
Happy Team Bonding! 🙂