Good morning everyone, welcome to my Monday Huddle! I hope you all had a relaxing weekend. Today my topic is “The Power of Teamwork”. Teamwork is something we are all familiar with, yet the importance of it cannot be neglected in anyways.
First, we all know that Resonate has its four core values, make magic, be a wizard, enchant the clients, and power up the circle.
Yes, teamwork is one of our core values and it’s deeply embedded in our company culture.
Here’s the value definition of “Power Up the Circle”:
“We believe in energising the team by giving more than what you take, we understand the multiplier effect of great teamwork and we always pay it forward.”
So, today I’m going to talk about why teamwork matters, why it’s hard to do well, and share some tips about how we can be better team players.
Let’s start with the “WHY”, why teamwork matters?
There’re three main reasons I want to talk about today but I know there’re many more that we could think about.
First, people are wired differently; Second, no one is good at everything; Third, we all crave meaningful relationships.
Let’s take a look at each of them in more depth.
You must have seen or done some personality tests before, and people have different feelings about these tests, whether you like it or not, believe it or not, there are some underlining reasons for these tests to exist.
For example, the 16 personalities test categorises people’s personalities in four main categories, and there’s a recent test I’ve done, called Principles You, it has defined multiple archetypes (these islands in the picture) and subtypes.
We’re not going to talk about personalities in this presentation but it’s obvious that we are wired differently, which means, we think, engage with others, and manage ourselves in very different ways.
Since we are wired differently, we have to find a way to work together, and that’s where teamwork comes into play.
Secondly, no matter how good you think you are, you have to admit that “no one is good at everything”. We are naturally good at the things aligned with our nature (our personalities) and will have our own default settings.
For example, some people will see the big picture while others look at the details first; some of us are abstract thinkers, others are structured implementers; some people are good at planning and sticking to their plans, others tend to live a life in a more flexible way because they are not afraid to adapt themselves regardless of what’s coming next.
Recent studies have shown that if we focus on using our top strengths instead of our less obvious strengths, it will lead to greater well-being and less depression.
In short, our different personalities have given us different superpowers. And everyone has a unique role to play, a unique life to live and contribute to the team in different ways.
Have you ever dreamed about reaching your financial freedom and enjoying life without worrying about money?
Well, this kind of life does sound attractive, but if you have nothing meaningful to do, or you don’t have high-quality relationships, you might feel bored or even question the meaning of your life after a short term of “complete freedom”.
So what makes us happy?
Studies have shown that money might bring us happiness to some extent, but real happiness is actually coming from meaningful relationships and a sense of fulfillment in a community.
People reaching their financial freedom are not just doing nothing, they still need to live and do things with others, because the sense of fulfillment cannot be purchased.
You might wonder, what is a meaningful relationship?
Well, in short, a meaningful relationship means both parties can benefit from each other. Because most people are happiest when they are improving and doing the things that suit them naturally and help them advance.
However, building a meaningful relationship is easier said than done, because it requires wisdom, effort, and trust from each of us. Here I really want to emphasize the “trust” part, for all the meaningful relationships, the prerequisite is to “trust” the others, you won’t open up yourself if you don’t trust people, thus you won’t even make an effort to build the relationship.
Great teamwork helps us achieve better results. The rewards of working together to make the pie bigger are greater than the rewards of self-interest, not only in terms of how much “pie” one gets but also in the psychic rewards wired into our brains that make us happier and healthier.
Someone once told me, if you aim to run faster, go by yourself; however if you aim to run a longer distance, make sure to go with others. If you look at the great people who have achieved great things, you will notice that they all understand the art of leaning on others.
I believe now everyone has a good understanding of the importance of teamwork. But in reality, it’s not always going as well as we would like it to be.
Why? Here’re some of the reasons:
Although we understand people are wired differently, we always tend to forget how to tailor our communication styles to better exchange information with them. Imagine someone who’s very detail-oriented trying to communicate with a person who likes to see that big picture first, they will be quite frustrated if they don’t take the differences into account and try to adapt their communication styles.
This becomes even worse when disagreements occur and when we are so eager to prove ourselves instead of trying to understand other people’s perspectives. Also, our emotions tend to guide us before logical thinking happens.
As I said before, building a meaningful relationship requires wisdom, effort, and trust. And I truly believe that the prerequisite of building a meaningful relationship is to have “trust”. You won’t open up yourself if you don’t trust people, and it’s highly likely that you won’t even make an effort to build that relationship.
This also drags us away from great teamwork. If everything is urgent, then nothing is urgent, and if everyone is the responsible party, no one will actually take care of the task. Without a clear understanding of responsibility, we cannot hold people accountable, thus the team becomes inefficient and the output result will suffer.
Ok, now we know that teamwork is important but not easy to do well, I’d like to share some tips that I find useful in terms of improving our teamwork skills and helping us become better team players.
First, we need to understand ourselves and others. Because having expectations for people (including yourself) without knowing what they are like is a sure way to get in trouble.
Remember, everyone is wired differently and you have your weaknesses and blind spots, so don’t assume you’re always correct, especially when you hear a different opinion from people seeing the same reality from a different lens.
That leads us to actively seek and give feedback. On our way to building that meaningful relationship, the real challenging part is to provide and receive feedback. Let’s be honest, feedback is not easy to give or take, it takes courage to tell the truth in front of the other person and if that person doesn’t seem to appreciate it or even get into the “defensive mode”, you might not bother to give your feedback anymore in the future.
Also, since people have different communication styles and personalities, you might have a certain preference to receive feedback. But my advice is that, focus on the feedback itself, instead of how it is given because you wish to have a feedback sandwich but not everyone has the perfect skill to provide feedback in a way you like. Ultimately, if you have trust in the person, you will understand that they are just trying to help! If they don’t care, they won’t even give you any feedback. So always be appreciated, no matter what feedback you’ve received and how you received it. As long as it helps you, take it and be grateful.
We can have open discussions, but we also need to know who has the power to make the decision and take the responsibility, even the decision is not what you would like it to be, you need to respect that and put the team’s interests above yourself’s.
Lastly, as a team member, no matter which role you are playing, always try to get in sync with your team. Understand what is your team’s goal, how you can contribute to it, what’s accountability people are holding on to you, and interact with your team members in pursuit of building meaningful relationships.
All in all, a productive team member is purposeful, mindful, punctual, and reliable.
Remember, we are all in this, together, as a team.