You can benefit from the input of others whether you work alone, in a small organization, or a large company. The best of teams, however, will do you little good unless you take the time to know each member of the team.
Sports teams – professional and amateur – underscore the importance of knowing team members every time they set foot on the field, ice, court, etc. Teammates practice together, train together, travel together, and socialize together. They learn a lot about the reaction, recovery, and pivot capabilities. For sports, success depends on how well team members work together.
Hockey players shoot the puck to the area their teammate is supposed to be covering; a basketball player makes a bounce pass to the spot his or her teammate can reach. Seeing achievements of teammates at practice spurs others to reach a little deeper. Athletes communicate during competition with words when possible, gestures when necessary, and screams when appropriate. Your business might not be so different from a sports team.
If you’re successful in your profession, chances are you’ve got a good team behind you. If you’re not as successful as you’d like to be, chances are you need to shore up your team. Here are a few tips to get your team lined up to support you.
- Identify your teammates. Coworkers, colleagues, committee members, volunteers, supervisors, trusted friends and advisors, mentors. You might be surprised how many people are committed to your success.
- Clarify the roles of every member of your team. Clear expectations are key to having a successful outcome. You’ll make the most of your team’s talents when everyone knows what’s expected of them, and what they can expect from you in return.
- Provide and receive feedback. Things didn’t work out the way you expected? Find out why – while a conversation or two might result in identifying the need for a major overhaul to your plans, you might also unearth minor changes that will result in the results you seek.
- Ask for input. When you’re stuck and are sitting in the funky chair of analysis paralysis, check in with someone on your team and ask for some help. Sometimes hashing an idea out with someone can save hours of hemming and hawing on your part.
- Say thank you. No two words are more appreciated than thank you. Make the time to thank all of those who lend a hand to you on your path to success.
Lace up your skates (or laptop), get in the game, and give it your all. Let me know how you and your team meet and beat the challenges you face.