There is a saying that goes, “A team of champions can never beat a champion team.”

No matter how uniquely talented each of your individual team members is, if they cannot work cohesively as a tightly-knit team then your department will struggle to achieve its full potential. This is where teamwork comes in. Teamwork is one of the cornerstones of a team’s success.

As a manager, you will need to recognise and utilise the strengths and talents of each individual team member and remember that each person within your team serves a specific purpose and each purpose is of significant importance to the team. Isolated individual strengths, skills, mindsets, and experiences do not get the whole job done. Individual strengths that are combined and integrated into the task at hand are what will lead your team to success.

In many teams, there will always be one or two people that will shine above the rest. This might be because they have a special talent or skill, they are doing the work that they love or maybe these team members are more emotionally intelligent than their colleagues. Regardless of the reason, you must ensure that the results your team achieves are a result of the team effort and not just one or two people. Remember, there is no ‘I’ in the word team!

When you can condition your team members toward the habit of working with one another and for one another, then you will experience synergy. How will you know that your people are working together as a highly effective team? Here are some tell-tale signs that will let you know that you truly have a team and not a number of individuals working together as a group.

An effective team is based on the concept of “less me and more we.” You will find that a successful team will help each other in taming the sometimes-overzealous attitudes of some “star” team members.

While those from within your team who are doing an exceptional job should be acknowledged and rewarded, it is also important for each individual to understand that their skills and talents are only utilized to the greatest degree when utilized for the team, rather than for individual success.

Everyone will experience a sense of camaraderie in the work place. The dog-eat-dog mentality will be dropped and everyone will chip in their knowledge and skills rather than a handful of star players taking over the show and being spread too thin.

When there is teamwork, the morale in the work place rises to a new level. Everyone wants to feel that they are contributing and doing their share. Teamwork and the attitude that every person and what they contribute is equally important and helps each team member feel valued and on equal footing with other team members. This inspires each person to bring their best to the table. Why would anyone be motivated to contribute their best if it is constantly overshadowed by the star players?

Creating a close-knit team often coincides with team members putting aside all personal issues for the common good of the team. This allows everyone to move forward with a positive attitude rather than focusing on the negative issues that can zap productivity and creativity. Remind team members that they may not always see eye-to-eye with one another but that each member must be mature and responsible enough to maintain a professional attitude and communicate in a positive manner that is conducive to team success.

Teamwork starts at the top with leadership with a T-E-A-M (Together, Everyone Accomplishes More) attitude. Be a great example of a team player by showing your team that you are not just in it for yourself. Show your team that working together for the good of all is beneficial to everyone and makes hay of even the most difficult tasks.

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