On Collaboration and Teamwork

I think we’ve got a lot to learn from each other, and certainly in more ways than one. Let’s just keep this sports and work related though.

Start with your staff. If you’ve got a problem, use the people you already work with to help solve it. Engage your fellow employees from other areas of your organization in a think tank type of session to help them understand your problem in addition to the circumstances surrounding why it’s a problem in the first place. They’ll know the office politics, the economics of your situation, the resources you have to work with and will likely have a good “outside the box” perspective on your problem.

The problems with this scenario though are these:
– Most people aren’t comfortable enough to admit they don’t have all the answers and are afraid and fearful in some ways
– They don’t recognize they have problems in the first place
– Nobody has any “time” and no one makes it a priority to work together in the first place

Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but seriously, I think we all have a little of that fear in us that we might look incompetent, we might not be smart enough, or we might realize and have to face the fact that we’re not actually doing our best after all. It would take a pretty humble person to be able to honestly open themselves up that much so as to let everyone in on what they are doing – but it has to start somewhere. You can start with a few trusted colleagues and advisers and slowly expand the group you’re engaging into your work. From there, you can begin to build a culture of teamwork and collaboration – after all, we do work in athletics right? Take a lesson from your coaches.

This one is a tricky one because no one wants to be the person who is just pointing out problems all the time and not seeming like they never do anything but complain. But then if you really care about your organization you will want to do everything to greatest possible extent. Given that foundation you also have to understand where the other person is coming from, what their goals are and what they are trying to achieve. That person may be evaluated and judged based on something you don’t know about, so in their mind they are doing a great job, while you may see things differently. This is one of those things you have to evaluate yourself, use caution, and be sensitive towards.

We’ve all got the same amount of time and we’ve all got that going for us. Which is nice. So how are you making the best use of your time? Productivity is a skill that can be learned, but only with the right mindset, so yes, just like everything else in life, you must start with yourself. Make your mind up and decide what is going to be most important, then act accordingly. Discipline your mind to push further and open yourself up to working more as a team player with the best interest of advancing your organizations goals.

If you’ve read any of the other posts on this blog, you already know that the topic of goals comes up frequently – and that’s because it is so incredibly important to everything you should be doing. No matter the job title or duties, all positions must be oriented in the same direction or all are doomed to fail. That’s it. Use the time you have to get things pointed in the right direction, collaborate with your staff, and develop a sense of teamwork with your peers. If nothing else, it will make going to work much more enjoyable, for which more productive outcomes will result.

Go Forth!

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