Team Building Glue
There aren’t many business managers who don’t understand the benefit of, and strive for, highly effective team working within their enterprise.
The analogy of sports teams is often used. As an ex-car racer, I’ve seen the immediate impact that team work can have, both positively and negatively, on the results achieved. Usually in business the impact is not quite so immediate, but the results are nonetheless massively significant, and perhaps much more important that a sporting outcome.
There are many factors that lead to optimum team effectiveness, but none so important in my opinion as the ‘glue’ that holds the team together. So what’s it to be – flour and water or Araldite?
The best glue is a combination of two elements – the resin and the hardener. I would suggest that as far as team working is concerned, respect is the resin and mutual trust is the hardener. Mix these two elements together and you’ve got a combination that’ll provide strength and longevity to the effectiveness of your team.
It’s often said that true respect has to be earned. Personally I don’t believe that’s completely correct. When for example one starts a new job, most people have a reasonable amount of respect for their new boss and for the others with whom they’re working. The variation – whether that respect builds or rapidly declines – is most significantly influenced by the respect that’s shown to you. So treat people with respect, as you would want to be treated yourself, and you’ll be amazed how much respect you’ll be given. And the opposite applies as well.
Trust and respect have a fair bit of interrelationship, with trust being built over time based on the experiences one has with each other. It’s one of the factors that can be influenced positively and rapidly by non-work team building activities – not individually competitive activities like go-karting or paintballing – but activities that are all-inclusive and result in team-wide achievement.
The best racing drivers talk about their success as ‘we’ and mistakes that are made as ‘I’. That’s the language we want our teams at work to use as well – ‘I could have done better myself but together as a team we achieved fantastic results’.
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