If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. — African Proverb
If you have decided to go far, or if you have no choice but to go far (beside long distance, far could mean long time frame too), this will be something that worth your time to read on.
Actually, in real life, most people have choices. When come to working in team, most would revert to the natural choice — or their instinctive respond — Fight, Frozen, or Flight. When one says he or she has no choice, most of the time, they mean that they will just hang-in on there until they find a better team or team that they can click or work with.
So what kind of team are you looking for? This is the first question I normally ask. I received common and similar answers. Most, if not all, answer that they want to work in a team that thrive, have trust, friendly, warm, cooperative, focus, help each other, responsible, accountable, etc. and the list goes on. My second question would be: what kind of team you do not wish to work for? They provide very quick answers to: team that is closed, selfish, blame each other, not achieving results, very quiet, unfriendly and cold, etc.
This becomes very interesting when you ask a real team. By real team, I mean a group of people working together (I my course of work, I have facilitated many real team in Asia). Their answers to the above two questions are similar. And yet, they find each other displaying the behaviour identified in second question. I find it fascinating looking at their facial expression when challenged with these questions.
So, what is going on here? The answer, of course, is human nature. We have developed a natural behaviour to protect ourselves for survival. Since young, we are thought to behave well, to display our best, to make justified decisions, to score points in school and in life. We are trained to react from our own perspectives. And over time, we have developed many blind spots. We tend not to see from others’ perspectives. We, as a human being, are not perfect. How can we expect a few not perfect individuals to come together to become a perfect team?
Now, back to your need to hunt for a great or perfect team, ask yourself these questions: Are you ready to give before you take? Are ready to make sacrifices, focus on team goal, have an open heart and mind to have engaging communication? If you are, then you are ready for the deal!
Article contributed by: Mr Tan Haw Lin. A Team Engagement Coach that helps build engaging team culture.