In my three decades of working with teams of all shapes, sizes, and levels, I’ve noticed the best team players work hard to build an extraordinarily cohesive team. They constantly share the spotlight, making sure everyone has the opportunity to shine. They pay attention to others before focusing on themselves. They offer help without being asked. They do things because they need to be done, even if it isn’t their “job.”
In my experience, these kinds of teams are truly extraordinary. They enjoy working together to achieve success. There is an atmosphere of mutual respect and consideration of others.
This type of teamwork doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with a few people who set the standard and ground rules for team cooperation. Over time, other team members adopt these behavioral norms until they become second nature for the team.
Try these techniques to build an extraordinarily cohesive team:
Praise Works Wonders. Look for the good in each team member and recognize his or her contributions to the team. Compliment their efforts, achievements, and good qualities. Recognize the simple things they do, such as being on time, completing assignments, and other tasks that may be considered “just part of the job.”
Be a Cheerleader. Constantly encourage others to do their best work. Support them through the good and not-so-great times. Even when they don’t succeed, note that they tried their best. When ready, help them try again.
Be Considerate. Think of the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You can see this principle in action in the little things they do: asking others for their opinions, being attentive, actively listening, validating what others have said, not interrupting or having side conversations.
Focus on Others First. Truly care about others and how you can help them be successful. You’ll be amazed that what goes around, comes around.
Think Win/Win. You have to believe that there are enough “wins” to go around. If you think there are enough wins, you don’t have to compete with your fellow team members! By working together, everybody succeeds.
Share the Glory. When the team achieves a critical milestone or goal, give credit to each team member. Recognize that one person couldn’t have accomplished the task alone and that the team is greater than the sum of its parts.
When you make sure others succeed, the group will become a more cohesive team, you’ll succeed too!
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