DR. JORGE MENDEZ TRUJEQUE
“Getting together is the beginning, staying together is progress, working as a team is success.”
Teamwork implies a group of people who are organized in a certain way to achieve a common goal. It’s that easy, but how difficult it is to make it happen. During our medical training we were taught anatomy, physiology, dissection and related subjects such as bioethics and others, but we were not taught to work as a team.
Teamwork has always been important, but in today’s life it is essential. Teamwork is part of the DNA of the human being, we are a species, among others, that needs collaboration in order to function. On the other hand, great achievements cannot be conceived without group work, this applies to material works, such as the Chinese wall, or to specific or general projects, such as a presidential candidacy, etc. Currently a parameter to measure the development of a company, institution or person is their ability to work as a team.
When working as a team, the efforts of all members are enhanced, leading to less action time and better results. Ensuring that the participants in the group have the same goal and that each person is responsible for their area and for reaching the common goal outlined, is ideal for any type of organization. In general, it is not appropriate for two or more work teams in an organization to share the same objective, since teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. On the other hand, it is not enough to have the most talented people, but also to get those talents to work as a team.
Some tips for successful teamwork include:
Confidence. It is the main element for teamwork, since without it nothing else will be achieved. All team members must trust each other. An environment must be fostered where members understand their roles and know their abilities, so that they know how to support each other.
Common objectives. From the beginning, it is necessary to make it very clear what the objectives to achieve are and define how each member of the team will contribute to fulfill them. All human beings have personal goals that they seek to meet, but one of the most important keys to the proper functioning of a work team is that personal goals are compatible with the team’s objectives.
Sense of belonging. In a natural way, the human being needs to feel part of something, the most powerful factor in the creation of teams is the development of a common identity. It must be clear what identifies the team, values must be set and each member must be aware of the impact of their participation in the team.
Understanding between the parties. It has always been very easy to criticize or underestimate the work of others, when one does not know it or has not executed it. To avoid this, meetings will have to be held so that each member explains their work in detail or, if possible, perform area rotation exercises. In general, the organization of a project implies some kind of division of tasks, this means that each member of the team performs a series of tasks independently, but it must be clear that everyone is responsible for the total results of the team.
Decision making. In general, it is convenient to involve team members in decision making. The foregoing generates a brainstorm, opens the mind and motivates each participant to share their opinion, which produces greater attachment to the group. This will not always be possible since some decisions will be made with other criteria, but in general, if there is this feedback and input of opinions, it will be easier to implement any change or strategy.
Communication. The most effective teams are those that listen and give feedback. It is important that they continually exchange opinions and create strategies and projects together. There must be communication channels appropriate to the needs of the group to always be in contact.
Responsability and compromise. The members of the team must be clear that the problems, failures and successes are shared and the responsibility of each and every one. Avoid the “this is not my problem” mentality.
Diversity. Ideally, the work team should have different personalities and interests but share values and a commitment to the project. A homogeneous group can operate efficiently but with little innovation. Ideally, the members of the work team have different characteristics in terms of experience, training, personality, aptitudes, etc.
Group successes. When something goes well, not necessarily having achieved the final goal, there should be words of encouragement and mention of the value of the work of all team members. The role of each one can be highlighted, but the group result must be highlighted. Although individual work is recognized, it is important that rewards are given for team results.
Leader. Every work team needs a leader who will be supported to make appropriate decisions based on the ideas and opinions of the entire team.
The work team works if:
– Productive meetings are held. After each meeting, the attendees know what steps to follow and they feel that their presence and participation was important. Meetings are very important as they generate new ideas and strategies to achieve the goal.
– When members know what to do and know their impact on the group and new ideas and innovations are produced that allow group growth. Everyone’s creativity and innovation must be encouraged.
– When they listen with interest to the opinions of others and help to offer solutions. When a problem or contingency arises and everyone is willing to support.
– When decisions are supported and agreed upon.
The work team does NOT work if:
– Each area is concerned with its own goals and blames others for not achieving them.
– They do not know each other or do not communicate continuously with each other.
– There is (unhealthy) competition between areas or individuals.
-They do not trust the other members or there is a lack of respect or disqualification towards their work.
-When you start talking about one and not all.
-When decisions are arbitrary or unsupported.
Do not forget that when the “I” is replaced by the “we”, even illness becomes health.
And you, do you know how to work as a team?