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“Two heads are better than one.”
“The sum total of the individual parts is greater than the individual parts.”
The Three Musketeers have a motto – “one for all, and all for one.”
These all in different ways show that a group of individuals working as one single unit in goal and purpose with the right skills will go farther than an individual who works alone regardless of how skilled that individual is.
Many studies have clearly shown that all things being equal, an alliance/collaboration/team has been proven to be the way for more productivity. It is, therefore, necessary that every workplace should strive to create an enabling environment that fosters and encourages teamwork and cooperation among its members.
Ability to work in a team is something every employer looks for and every person seeking employment claims to have. Each individual must realize that before you work together within a team, having the right knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable effective teamwork is necessary to have. In other words, you must be able to perform well, your part as an individual with value for you to be able to offer a meaningful contributor to the team. A team is about giving.
A team is made up of valuable individuals who though different and unique as individuals, strive to drop aside differences that hamper efficiency in order to work together to achieve a common goal. Each individual must recognize and embrace their uniqueness and differences and harness this uniqueness to work with others.
4 Major Areas of Teamwork Competence:
According to a study published in Psychology Today, there are 15 areas of teamwork competence, which are grouped into four major categories: Identity, Communication, Performance, and Regulation.
- Identity – You identify with the team. You are of one mind and purpose. Aligned with the team goals.
- Communication – you must be able to clearly articulate your thoughts and be willing to also listen to the opinions of others. Communication is a two-way affair.
- Performance – can you carry out tasks and responsibilities as a required of you?
- Regulation – this borders on conflict resolution, negotiating skills, etc.
So the question for you is simple. Are you a team player or a lone wolf? Can you play as a team? Do you have the necessary human skills to connect and work along with other people of different personalities, thinking and cultural backgrounds?
Benefits of being a Team Player
Working together fosters creativity. It’s true. No man is an island. Forget the myth of the lone creative genius. It is just a myth.
Creativity is a part of a group effort. Inspiration can come from interacting with different people. People working together leads to ideas, knowledge sharing and different types of communication which contribute to inspiration. A lot of inspiration comes from working with others especially in a team. Brainstorming among team members is another way to get ideas and inspiration. Together a team can work on developing an idea or inspiration to fine-tune it to its ultimate fulfilment.
Teams are also good for accountability. Working on a team that has a culture of good performance and delivery helps with individual and group accountability. Individuals hold each other accountable and will not allow anyone to perform below expectation or their abilities.
Teams foster healthy competition for excellence, especially where there are rewards and consequences for deliverables. Healthy competition expands the boundary for creativity and inspiration. It motivates and stimulates excellent performance among team members.
Skills are improved and honed through collaboration. When you’re working with teammates whose talents complement yours, effectiveness and efficiency are improved. Innovation thrives. The resultant output is a broad ability to tackle different issues that wouldn’t have been possible if only an individual with limited skills handled it alone.
In a team, each one can specialize and focus on one or two aspects of problem-solving while others focus on what they are most skilled at. In the end, everyone wins.
Trust is a must for teamwork. There can’t be any meaningful teamwork without trust. Trust has to do with relationships. You develop more healthy relationships with teammates as you trust each other. A workplace with strong healthy relationships, where there is care for one another is the kind of place anyone will love to be.
When team spirit thrives you feel responsible for your teammates. You become proud of your team and willing to put in more time and effort. Where teams thrive, there is a higher sense of self-fulfilment.
This doesn’t mean that you and your team are always going to get along. There will be conflicts. Conflicts will always happen. Teams always have ways of resolving issues and get right back on track. Conflicts must be resolved as soon as possible. They shouldn’t be allowed to linger. It can destroy the whole team if left unresolved or for too long.
Get yourself a team or your law firm lawyers working in teams. Promote healthy competition among the teams and motivate them through rewards for performance and efficiency. Develop a culture of teamwork. You will by doing so, unlock higher performances and efficiencies in your firm.
Make teamwork the culture in your firm. The rewards are enormous.
What ideas do you have for encouraging and fostering teamwork? Let me hear from you in the comments.
To your Success