There is an old Spanish saying “Mi casa es su casa.” (My house is your house.) Put in the context of working with people in the office, it transcends simple hospitality. It goes deeper to mean that what I am, what I have, my skills, my background and experience are yours for our team to utilize. If that isn’t the spirit of teamwork, I don’t know what is.
In today’s business world, an attitude like this takes on great significance, as pretty much everything we do is done with others in a group. And when we do it effectively and well, with the rest of the team working with one another for a common goal, success becomes inevitable. Sadly, for one reason or another that “rugged individualism” idea almost always gets in the way. This along with some companies’ divorcing their teams from rewards and compensation leads to good teams withering on the vine and worst, team members or leaders begin to feel free to engage in some bad behavior leading to dysfunction.
What Not To Do With Your Team Members
Whether you’re a team leader or a member, what follows might help you “not do” these common mistakes that produce big cracks in good, healthy teams. Here are the don’ts:
- Don’t stick to your guns. It’s a bad phrase that says … we do it my way or the team can go take a hike in the highway. Don’t ruin the team by being single minded and being obsessive about how to get things done. Listen and consider the other team members’ ideas.
- Don’t go looking at the glass half-empty. If you go around messing with the team members’ minds by focusing on everything that could go wrong and being the “voice of doom”, you’ll be contaminating them with your negative emotions and cynicism. Adhering to this kind of feeling will guarantee killing the trust, enthusiasm, creativity and joy that are important to the group’s success.
- Don’t be insensitive to the people’s feelings. Care about them by being considerate and thoughtful about how they see things. Appreciate their insights, their background and intelligence. You’re not the only smart guy in the team (and even if you are, don’t flaunt it.)
- Don’t bully your team members. Don’t start taking immediate action on your impulses and feelings. Instead, apply your emotional intelligence. Filter what you say or do. Given the stress that people work with in today’s extremely competitive business environment, it’ll be great for the team if you were to blend and work well with each member.
The don’ts are emphasized in bold letters for the simple reason that these are the known most common mistakes team leaders and some team members do in meeting the challenges of their companies. Regrettably, with team dysfunction. these teams fell short of their goals. Go over them again, then avoid them like the plague!