One of the greatest lessons that I have learned in my life is the value of teamwork. It is what I consider to be the best solution to any task, question, situation, endeavor, etc. that may come my way. This does not mean that I don’t work independently and find that in many situations that I can complete a task on my own. But the value of teamwork will outweigh an independent decision just about any time.
When we choose to work with others, we receive the values of the perceptions of others, their experience, their know-how and their expertise. Every one on a team brings their history to the table. If there is a problem to be solved or a new task to be undertaken, a team of people has so much more knowledge and experience than one individual can ever have. To collectively consider a variety of viewpoints brings so much more to a resolution that just one person independently.
The most important factor in teamwork is the motivation of each of the team members. There may be situations where one or more of the people are fighting for the power to run the project. There may be someone whose motivation is to receive all of the credit. There may be a person who has all of the answers all of the time. There may be someone who does not care to share his information. And there may be those who do not wish for the project to succeed especially if they feel that they were not invited to the table in the right way or if they feel that what they have to contribute is not valued. In such situations, the most important thing to do is to listen carefully to all of the information that is provided. If the project is yours and no one can reach a consensus on any of the points, the best solution is to extract whatever information that you can to expand your database and put together the best possible answer or solution or new project that you can.
However, the best situations is that all of the team members are focused on the outcome of the situation or project being the very best that the collective can create. When you have team members who can work through a situation without individual ego being a factor, you will produce the very best results that that team can possibly create. It will be the team that will celebrate and give credit to all of the members and not just point out what everyone contributed individually. And each time that the group can reach a consensus, that is a major victory because it means that each team member is willing to look at various viewpoints and make a decision on what is perceived as best by everyone.
If you would like to try out this teamwork concept, if it is unfamiliar to you, start on a small basis with one question to someone else whom you trust. Ask that person a question and carefully listen to what and how they answer. Do not share or defend any idea that you may already have. Rather, ask yourself if they showed you a viewpoint that you had not considered. If you don’t know whether their solution will work, repeat the process by asking another person or research the information provided for yourself. Only after considering one or more other solutions should you bring back your idea. At this point is when you decide whether someone else had a better idea or if you have the better solution or if the answer is really a combination of other people’s ideas combined with your own. You will soon recognize what teamwork can do to help you reach the best possible solution and you will be willing to freely incorporate others’ ideas without personality or ego entering into the picture.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.