Batman had Robin, Paul had Barnabas, and even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. Working together sure makes life more enjoyable and it is part of our design as social creatures. When we work in partnership with other people whether they are family members, friends, or co-workers, we are maximizing our potential and creativity. What are the ways that we can encourage a team-friendly environment?
•Understand differences. All of us are different in areas like personality, social capacity, skill level, work ethic, discipline, and experiences. It doesn’t take very long after spending time with other people to realize that God has an amazing sense of humor. Be aware of these differences and appreciate people for their uniqueness. Allow each person’s strength to benefit the group.
•Appreciate similarities. Having common ground with someone is as easy as enjoying the same Jamba drink. It is endearing to know that we share common bonds in preferences, goals, or values. Seek out similarities with others and you’ll strengthen the team.
•Identify a common goal. Most of the time there is conflict within a group because there is no common goal. Each person wants something different and no agreements can be reached. When this happens, go back to the basic reason for coming together. Identify the common goal and rekindle the shared needs that everyone has.
•Share freely and regularly. One of the typical things that stunts the growth of a team is when individuals become hoarders of ideas. This may occur either because they are inhibited from sharing, they do not want anyone else to get the credit, or perhaps they do not feel validated to share. Whatever the case may be, it is a loss for the group when this happens. Emphasize sharing as an integral a part of being with the group and provide incentive for doing so.
•Deal graciously with others. There will be a time when we all will need a little grace. Remember to keep short accounts when people require our forgiveness and prioritize relationships over results.