Teamwork can both increase and decrease work-related stress levels. When people are put together in an atmosphere of accountability and trust, a common goal can be successfully attained. When built correctly, teams can yield major successes together and for a company’s bottom line.
Teamwork – what is it?
The term teamwork is broad. It helps to understand that team and teamwork are actually synonymous. Teams can operate differently depending on the company size, task at hand, skills required and the scope of the project. Teams can be ongoing or short term; they can work together day-to-day or less frequently. The variables of what defines a team are different, but the one constant is an effort to draw on the resources of the whole to get the job done.
Teamwork can both increase and decrease work-related stress levels.
Stress in the workplace is inevitable.
It isn’t always bad – it can even be a little helpful. A small amount of stress can be used to keep you focused, on target for deadlines and even energetic. Excessive stress, however, can impede productivity, impair performance and deplete your emotional strength. When stress becomes unmanageable, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to not only your job, but ultimately your mind, body and team.
We all expect a certain amount of stress at work, don’t we? Differentiating between “healthy” stress and “damaging” stress can prove difficult, but is important for optimal teamwork.
Some of the more obvious signs you are overwhelmed with stress are as follows:
- Feeling angry
- Apathy, loss of interest
- Problems falling asleep, disruptive sleep patterns
- Easily distracted
- Physical tension / pain
When people are put together in an atmosphere of accountability and trust, a common goal can be successfully attained and stress levels can remain at a healthy level. When built correctly, teams can yield major successes together and for a company’s bottom line.
Conversely, when teams have no common purpose, shared goals, trust or mutual accountability, teamwork fails to get off the ground and stress skyrockets. Relationships, money and even jobs can end up on the line when teams go miserably wrong.
So, how can a rainmaker, or anyone for that matter, create a successful team?
First, by hiring the right talent.
Without the best and brightest, leaders will not be able to take their business to the next level. The Career Visioning course and the Keller Personality Assessment (KPA) are excellent and proven systems to ensure that the best and the brightest join your team or Market Center.
Once the team is in place, implement defined guidlines that foster trust and respect. Beginning with these two elements creates a foundation from which to build and grow. Does this mean that team members have to be close personal friends? Absolutely not. It means that trust and respect will pave the way for building professional relationships in the workplace.
- Create accountability. The result of teamwork is measured by the sum of the collective effort. Accountability in a teamwork context identifies who is responsible for what outcome, as well as creates an incentive for the team’s success as a whole. A sense of accountability to the team builds incentive for each person to provide help and assistance for one another since each person’s work affects that of the others. Reminder: The result of teamwork is measured by the sum of the collective effort.
- Outline duties. Every team member is appointed for a reason. Structure and reliability can sustain when those reasons are clearly defined. A well-oiled machine relies on the function of all parts working together – teamwork is just the same.
- Define the goal. Just as a job description is defined, the goals of any team project need to be as well.
- Check progress. Teamwork fails when teams are left to operate in a vacuum. Checking on progress, troubleshooting where necessary, showing interest and acknowledging hard work all serve to motivate team members.
- Resolve conflict. Workplace conflicts are common. Teamwork conflicts are also common, and normal. Many of these conflicts can be worked through and actually serve as relationship builders. However, if conflicts go unaddressed, relationships, productivity and success deteriorate.
What are some of the most effective conflict resolution techniques?
- 1. Listening. Listen to hear, not to respond. When a team member feels heard, they begin to feel understood. Understanding the nature of the conflict will create solutions to the conflict.
- 2. Address the issue. Most teamwork conflicts don’t self-correct. When situations are not addressed, they escalate and affect the team as a whole.
3. Conflicts are normal. When teams are able to resolve conflicts, growth takes place. From growth comes strength, and a stronger bond within the team as a whole.
4. Promote and motivate. Encouragement and motivation provide fuel for a well-functioning team. Recognizing an individual’s effect on a team is motivating and it substantiates positivity. This is one of the most effective ways to encourage an individual’s value on a team, and solidify the importance of working on a team.
The KPA can also help rainmakers and managers tailor conflict resolution strategies to individual team members and thwart conflicts before they happen.
A great example of the value in teamwork is regularly seen in sports. Sports teams are comprised of individually talented people working together to enhance the collective group. Sports teams have a crucial and defining aspect to which are the coaches, or role managers. At its best definition, teamwork is a sense of responsibility, unity and enthusiasm for a common goal.