Definition of a Team: A group of people with a high degree of interdependence geared toward the achievement of a goal or the completion of a task.
Teamwork is something close to the heart of SalesFix, and crucial to our success, not just as a business, but as a workplace of choice.
We work hard to implement and maintain teamwork into the very essence of our culture and it shows in everything we do; how we interact internally and how we project a united force to our customers.
Success in our workplace depends on our ability to build a team, and to interact with others on that team. Together, as a team, we can accomplish what one person alone can not. This is the foundation of the SalesFix synergy.
Increasing Effectiveness as a Team Player
Commonly, there are 4 active styles of team players; Contributor, Collaborator, Communicator, or Challenger. Each style is just as important and each role plays an invaluable contribution to an effective team. Traditionally, an individual will have one dominant style, however depending on the topic, environment or focus, a team player may portray a combination of styles, or change to suit the circumstances.
Whatever the situation, it’s important to:
- Affirm your strengths. Acknowledge that you’re O.K. Look for ways to add to your strengths.
- Look for teams and organizations where your strengths are appreciated; avoid those situations where they are not valued. For example, Challengers should avoid conservative, risk-adverse environments.
- Extend your repertoire by incorporating more of the strengths of other styles. For example, if your least active style is Communicator, develop a plan to increase your skills as a group facilitator.
- Develop your ability to analyse your team. When you observe the need for a particular strength (i.e. to challenge complacency), provide an appropriate intervention and encourage others to do the same.
Always be aware of the tendencies to become an ineffective team player – by using your strengths to excess.
Why is Trust Important?
Trust is one of those mainstay virtues of the SalesFix team. It is the bond that allows any kind of significant relationship to exist between people. Once broken, it is not easily, if ever, recovered.
Trust is produced in a climate that includes four elements:
- Honesty: Integrity, no lies, no exaggerations
- Openness: A willingness to share and receptivity to information, perceptions, ideas
- Consistency: Predictable behavior and responses
- Treating people with dignity and fairness
The problem is that trust is so fragile. If anyone of the elements listed above is breached even once, a relationship is apt to be severely compromised, even lost. With trust gone between individuals, teams have little hope of functioning well and realizing their true potential.
Trust doesn’t happen overnight. It grows slowly. How can you grow it? Some of the things we hear from our team members and customers include:
- Doing what you say you will do
- Treating everyone fairly
- Being consistent
- Going to bat for an employee
- Develop cohesion through learning more about your employees and their likes and dislikes
- Encouraging, modeling, and valuing diversity
- Doing social things together
- Creating a “we” atmosphere
Communication could be defined as not just sending and receiving messages but understanding them.
One thing most people do is make a lot of assumptions about the people they come into contact with. Team members should not assume they have interpreted others’ comments correctly, and they should not assume others understand perfectly what they are trying to say.
The most powerful communication skill is our ability to listen and to ask questions. These are the tools everyone uses to overcome miscommunication problems.
Good listening skills are crucial to team building. Effective listening can help you improve your relationship with other important people, such as your manager, your team members, your employees, your friends, and your family.
To be an effective team member, it is important to be both a willing and a skilled listener. There are some guidelines for constructive listening:
- When someone has something on his/her mind, allow that person to talk it out without responding with sharp answers or judgment calls about the unreasonableness of the statements.
- Restrain any natural impulse to be curious and avoid asking questions that show bias or are not relevant to the discussion.
- If feelings or emotions become the centre of discussion, don’t dismiss them lightly or abruptly. Discouraging the expression of emotional issues can inhibit the team’s ability to work things out. They need to be allowed to vent their frustrations.
- Violent and deep-seated negative expressions require understanding rather than judgment.
- Although it may be difficult to be silent, you should speak as little as possible when listening.
- Verbal cues that you are listening, such as an alert facial expression and a slight forward movement, all indicate interest.
- Acceptance doesn’t require agreement. It isn’t necessary to say “I think you are absolutely right.” Possibly the only thing worse to say is, “I think you are absolutely wrong.”
- Don’t give advice on personal matters. There is an old saying, “A wise man does not need advice; a damn fool will not take it.” Let the speaker decide what the best approach is. Your role is to listen and, when appropriate, suggest where the person may find additional help.
(Source: Active Listening by Carl R. Rogers and Richard E. Farson)
Becoming a Good Team Player
No matter what you do, the quality of your attitude determines the quality of your relationships—not to mention just about everything else in your life. The good news is that attitudes are yours to select. And if you are free to choose anyone you please, why not choose a Really Useful Attitude.