For years, some companies put their focus on individualism, on competition, encouraging employees to show their prowess on the climb up the ladder, not worrying about who theymay step on in the process. That paradigm has been shifting for awhile now. We know that teamwork is a major factor in succeeding in the workplace. In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s imperative that a company – while still heralding individual ideas – operate as a cohesive unit.
If you want to see more cohesion in your department or in your entire company, create cross-functional or cross-departmental teams as a way to fuse your disparate parts into a whole.
Following are some ways to build and nurture a successful cross-departmental team:
1. Take action. When a team project encompasses many elements, it can be overwhelming. Dive in and make something happen.
2. Cooperate with the inevitable. Overreacting to every crisis not
only disrupts the team, it accomplishes nothing. Every organization has
inherent, inevitable challenges — from production delays to bad weather. Deal
3. Try to profit from your losses. Every problem the team
encounters offers an opportunity to create better organizational skills,
processes or relationships.
4. Do the very best you can. When team efforts fail to turn
out as planned, it’s natural to feel stressed and worried. If you put this “do
your best” practice into place, you will always be able to feel a sense of
pride in your work.
5. Clear your workspace. A clear workspace clears you
mind while a chaotic one confuses it. Especially if you share your workspace
with others on the team, keep that workspace organized and clean up after
6. Prioritize. Sort out shifting priorities and
act on them as quickly as possible. Other team members respect and understand
shifting priorities when we explain them thoughtfully and honestly.
7. Solve problems immediately. Procrastination undermines
effective teamwork. As team members, we feel anxious and stressed when
responsibilities pile up. Other team members will appreciate the ability to get
things done quickly and move on.
8. Be enthusiastic. A lack of energy and enthusiasm
in one team member can bring down the rest of the team. Don’t be that person.
Get past obstacles and frustrations and maintain a personal level of enthusiasm
that is infectious.
9. Expect ingratitude. Despite your best effort, many
people (including superiors) may not fully appreciate how much work we do to
further the team effort. Don’t wait for a compliment or pat on the back. If you
don’t expect gratitude, it means even more when it’s expressed.
10. Don’t worry about the little stuff. Effective team members, and especially team leaders, have the ability to keep things in perspective. Don’t sweat the small stuff. As a team professional, we sort out the important concerns from the unimportant ones and avoid wasting time.
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