“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Henry Ford
When talented people with shared ambitions and a strong sense of themselves and others work together towards a common goal, amazing things can happen. They are able to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, build team spirit and eventually become unstoppable. Whichever way your team is working – remotely, in co-working spaces, office or retail-based – collaboration and teamwork continue to play a crucial role in the success of any business.
Effective teamwork and collaboration can build a powerful sense of community, stimulate creativity, improve problem-solving abilities and lead to greater productivity and innovative ideas and solutions. Collaborative teams appreciate and understand the value of diverse communication styles, ways of thinking, skillsets and capabilities; they know that coming together creates a much greater sum than the total of individual efforts.
When we talk to customers, they completely buy into the importance of having strong, collaborative, co-creative and co-operative relationships where people are working comfortably and productively together. When we dig a little deeper, we often see that challenges exist around people accepting the differences of others in a broader sense – their preferences, thinking patterns and personality styles – meaning they may find it difficult to appreciate just how valuable this diversity is in terms of how successful any business will be.
Lifting the lid on your organisation
So, what happens when you lift the lid on your organisation, step back and take a good, long look at the groupings and dynamics, the body language and the type of conversations and exchanges that are taking place on a daily basis? Do you see a positive, dynamic environment where people are pulling together, taking ownership of their roles and working seamlessly towards that shared goal? Or is there a dysfunctional element to the relationships within … do you see an environment awash with personality clashes, differing opinions, people working against each other and a simmering culture of blaming others when things go awry? How certain can you be that your people are working together with the very best interests of the customer and your organisation at heart?
In situations where people don’t listen to others and where preconceived ideas about other people and their capabilities are allowed to take hold, the result will be a downward spiral with ever increasing losses in time and efficiency, frustrations and division, and a significant negative impact on metrics and productivity. If this is the case in your organisation, it’s time to take action!
Self-awareness leads to a positive, high trust culture
In order to build really strong and productive relationships in the workplace, you need to start with a clear and honest understanding of yourself. Having self-awareness of your own preferences, motivations and how you present yourself to others every day at work gives you a really firm foundation to look out and understand how others operate, and how best to work with and alongside them. This is one of the key building blocks for creating strong relationships and a high level of trust.
In a positive, high trust culture, everybody is absolutely certain that each member of the team is doing a superb job and do not need to question this. If you have great team spirit and are able to trust your co-workers, it provides a feeling of safety and security that enables everyone to open up and encourage each other. Trust in your fellow workers also leads to more open communication which then extends to an increased trust in the organisation and management too.
Four steps to better teamwork
1) Start with yourself by making sure you are continuously developing and nurturing a strong sense of self-awareness. Increased levels of personal awareness enable you to assess and improve upon your strengths and capabilities while recognising more challenging areas where skills and expertise can be improved.
2) This leads naturally into more effective self-management of your emotions and behaviour so that you can consistently enable a calm, confident and professional response to colleagues and customers whatever comes your way.
3) Broaden your thinking to an increased awareness and appreciation of others so that you can value all feedback, respect others’ views, insight and knowledge and build mutually respectful relationships on every level.
4) Equip yourself with the ability to communicate positively with influence and correct language and expression, so that you can collaborate with great questioning skills and a strong focus on finding the right solutions together.
Collaborative feedback is invaluable
Our experience has shown that an underpinning philosophy for great teamwork is to understand that all feedback is invaluable, and this includes a full appreciation that other people’s views should be respected and listened to, and that we all have much to learn from each other’s insight and knowledge. In this way, disagreements and hostile challenges and conflicts are replaced with respectfully robust and meaningful discussions which then lead to calm resolution, greater innovation, problem-solving and much more positive outcomes.
The right training solutions for success
Equipping your people with proven, targeted learning solutions will strengthen the team’s capability to build strong relationships with each other and your customers, giving them powerful and practical ways to work together, manage new demands and challenges and work in different and more innovative ways. The impact of these hugely improved relationships is dramatic, giving everyone the ability to thrive in their roles, be more productive and embrace anything that comes their way at work with confidence.
Reaping the benefits of strong relationships
Any investment in building strong relationships within the workforce will reap dividends for any organisation or customer service. People will come to work each day energised and ready to tackle their responsibilities with commitment and enthusiasm. They will aspire to reach their goals safe in the knowledge that everyone is working with the same aims to produce outstanding results and outcomes, to the benefit of all. They are equipped to stay focused on those goals, overcome obstacles and perform with excellence in all that they do using their initiative with confidence and perspective. These are the people who come together to accomplish higher quality work with efficiency and verve, achieving desired outcomes with a steady and unswerving commitment to excellence.