Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Focus the collective efforts

One reason I enjoy working with the grade-level teaching team so much is that together we have focused our efforts to teach every child as well as we can. We maximize each others' strengths and mitigate each others' challenges. I have never worked with a stronger team, a team that has profited from new research and supports for optimal teamwork.

When groups are unfocused and lacking a common mission, the teamwork is challenged. When teams clearly share a common focus, goals, and appreciation of one another, those teams do well, very well.

How can we strengthen the teams we have, and develop better teamwork where teams are weak.

Drill down to the essentials
Weak teams don't take the time to drill down to the essentials--they operate without shared common goals and objectives. It's essential for leadership to understand who the organization is and where that organization is going, and it's essential that all members of the team understand that too.

Respectful, inclusive, transparent efforts
When efforts are muddy, exclusive, and lacking transparency, teamwork is challenged. Regular, respectful, streamlined, inclusive communication is essential to building strong teams. When teams are led with disrespect, lack of honesty, and poor communication, those teams suffer.

Maximize each others' strengths
No one has it all, but when teams maximize the strengths of their members, the whole team benefits. It's essential that team members know each other well, and understand each others' strengths including how to maximize those strengths for the entire team's benefit.

Regard every member of the team with respect
Sometimes teams see some members without dignity or humanity. They don't think deeply about who those people are, what they need, and how their work matters in an organization. When this happens, the chain of effective effort is broken, and time, money, and capacity are weakened. It's essential that every individual's role is taken seriously on teams and in organizations.

Recently my family team has faced a challenge--it's a challenge that involves caring for one of our family members. To meet this challenge will take all of our commitment and efforts. One missing link of this issue has been good communication, and we're looking for ways to remedy that. Another missing link is organization of effort, and we're looking into that too. Thankfully transparency, for the most part, has been good as hearsay and conjuecture can really challenge the good work of any team.

Optimal teamwork requires that all members focus on the collective effort with respect and care--when that's missing, teams suffer and the good work possible is compromised. Optimal teamwork holds tremendous potential for what we can do in any personal or professional realm.