Success for the team comes from each person giving or being their best; neither of these involve winning or beating others. Avoid the temptation to want to be the star—recognise that to be personally successful we need to include everyone in that success.
Here is a brief summary of seven ways of working together better:
This is crucial in building an effective team. In a truly successful group, every member of the group shares in the success and feels successful. If one person in the group is failing, it is a reflection of where the group is failing or is about to fail. When you see a problem ask yourself, how can I contribute to the solution?
Listen and learn. Be prepared to be open to at least the possibility that we have something to learn from the other person. If this were not true there would be no point in communicating at all, which is how a lot of “communication” works out. Let go of your need to be right.
What you judge in others and in the world is what, at some level, you are judging in yourself. Judgment locks you into the problem and blocks inspiration. It will get in the way of understanding the situation. With judgment you cannot help.
No-one can make us feel anything. Our negative emotions are not caused by others; they were already present in us, just waiting to be triggered. We transfer the unfinished past onto the present for completion. When you are feeling bad, be curious why you’re feeling that way, and choose to feel differently.
Only no-fault communication is effective. Everybody has to be included in the solution: there is always a win/win solution. Where we engage in blame there cannot be a win/win situation because the blame makes someone feel they are wrong, they feel there is a win/lose, and they have just lost. No one likes to feel like they will, or have, lost and, when people do, they either attack, withdraw or become passively aggressive—all of which undermines a team or group.
Sharing what is really going on for you is a powerful way to strengthen a team and to find solutions that work for everybody. If we hold something back then that element cannot be included in the solution.
There is always help available. It will be different from ‘your way’ or you would have resolved the problem already. Asking for help is not a weakness. Not asking for help is a weakness.