Teamwork and/or trusting your team

“No one can whistle a symphony.  It takes a whole orchestra to play it”. 

HE Luccock

This week I am talking about teamwork and also trusting your team.

Whether you are in a work team or have a team around you for health or social reasons, you need to work at being cohesive.  The team need to be unified and working towards a shared goal.

There are many examples of teamwork and how a team may not be working well together.  It is possibly easier in a work example in which you are all working under the organisation’s policies and procedures and codes of conduct.  But what happens if a team member starts working against the unspoken team rules, professional jealousy, not pulling their weight or speaking badly of others in the team which causes conflict or splitting amongst the members?  The trust starts to disintegrate, and the other team members begin to notice and form sides – us and them!  Unfortunately, this behaviour is often modelled throughout the work environment and can become very toxic very quickly.

Teamwork is also very important if you have a team of health professionals for your health condition.  They need to work together to better the client outcome and you are also an important part of this team.  It is okay to have differing opinions and the knowledge that each professional brings to the table is important – for you, the client to make the final decision on your treatment plan.  However, when discussing each profession’s view – it is important to be respectful for other’s opinions and personal choices.

The same plan applies for a sporting team – the common goal and rules of engagement.  To encourage others to play to the best of their ability.  To create an environment where everyone feels that they are contributing to the team and playing to the unique strength that each individual has. 

So, if or when splinters begin to show within a team, call it out and see if you can discuss the issue within the team structure.  There are a number of questions to ask, both yourself and to the team.  Is it possible to regroup and get back on track?  Is the team working towards a common goal?  Are all the players invested in the project?  Is the environment safe for people to discuss issues?  Is this the team for you? 

Working with other people can be difficult at times, as we all have different value systems.  However, being respectful and playing the game fairly is an important element that often gets forgotten when conflict or difference arises.