Posts Tagged ‘respect’

3 Rs of a solid team

February 4, 2013

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  • How solid is your team?
  • How do you know?
  • What would you consider to be the foundations of a great team?

When I say ‘team’ – this could mean the whole staff team or, more typically, one of several teams within your organisation.

Teams are about people, and people work well together when they have developed strong relationships with each other. The following 3 Rs suggest how this might start.

1. Rules

These are the ground rules which describe the set of normal team behaviours. They may be more important for newly formed teams, but would benefit any team. Some rules may include:

  • open and honest communication
  • a team approach to solving team problems
  • acknowledging the rights of fellow team members
  • constructive debate when introducing new policies
  • using fair and objective decision-making processes

What would your team rules be?

2. Responsibility

Along with team members needing to be clear about their roles within the team, they also need to know what they are responsible for. This may seem like common sense, and if team members know their roles, it often follows that they will know what their responsibilities are.

However, I think there is a difference between being responsible for something and taking responsibility for something. The latter can have labels such as ‘weakness’ or ‘blame’ attached to it if something hasn’t gone according to plan.

I think it’s quite a strong personal trait to take responsibility for things (under your remit) that don’t go well. Acknowledging this to your team will gain you greater respect. We’re all human, and no-one’s perfect! Speaking of respect …

3. Respect

This includes respecting team members’ points of view, and showing courtesy. You don’t have to be their best friend. Also – if you find yourself thinking that someone in your team is ‘annoying’, try to separate out the behaviour from the person. If you can do this then when they change that behaviour to something ‘less annoying’ to you – you’re more likely to see it and change your opinion of them for the better.

If you show respect for others, you are far more likely to be respected in return. There’s a great parable that demonstrates this …

An uncle was sat at the side of a road with his nephew, in 19th century Ireland, when a traveller walked by.

‘Good day sir,’ he said. ‘I am  travelling to the village over the hill. Can you tell me what the people are like there?’

‘Well,’ said the uncle, ‘you’ve just been to the village on this side of the hill – how did you find the people there?’

‘Oh, they were great,’ replied the traveller, ‘really friendly and welcoming.’

‘Well, that’s good to hear,’ said the uncle, ‘because that’s just what the people are like in the village over the hill.’ With that, the happy traveller headed off to the next village.

Some time later another traveller walked past. ‘Good day sir,’ he said to the uncle. ‘I am travelling to the village over the hill. Can you tell me what the people are like there?’

‘Well,’ said the uncle, ‘you’ve just been to the village on this side of the hill – how did you find the people there?’

‘Oh, they weren’t friendly at all … very unwelcoming. I didn’t like the village at all,’ replied the traveller.

‘Well I am sorry to tell you this,’ said the uncle, ‘but that’s how you will find the people in the next village.’ The unhappy traveller headed off to the next village.

‘Uncle,’ said the nephew a short while later, ‘to whom did you tell the truth?’

‘I told the truth to both of them,’ he said. ‘The point is, people reap what they sow.’

What would the 3 key elements be for a strong team in your organisation?