How to Become a Good Team on the Field or in the Office

Good Team

“High-functioning teams are what make high-performing companies click,” writes Judith A. Ross, Harvard Business Review.

Whether on the field or in the office, being a part of a team is an important part of life. According to the Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, a qualitative, ethnographic, global research study of collaboration at Cisco, “Working together and having multifaceted perspectives trumps working alone and often leads to idea propagation.” Being a part of a team can be a powerful thing. However, not everyone inherently knows how to be a good teammate – working together towards a common goal. Below, we outline several steps to help individuals and organizations build more meaningful relationships – stronger teams.

It Starts at the Top

“Camaraderie begins from the top down,” says David Ross, a member of the 2013 World Series champion Boston Red Sox and current backup catcher for the Chicago Cubs.

First, organizations must ensure they hire the right people to fill key vacancies. This means taking into consideration not just skill set, but also personality. How will this new employee mesh with existing team members? Then, organizations must take the time to clearly define roles and set expectations.

“Knowing your role is the first step to success in any organization,” says D. Ross. “Great management defines these roles early. As players, we want to be as mentally and physically prepared to step out on that field and do the best job we can.” The same mindset holds true in the office.

Good organizations will take it upon themselves to help foster this personal and organizational growth.

It Takes Trust

Scottish author and poet George MacDonald once said “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” Trust is essential to an effective relationship, an effective team, and an effective business. For a company or organization to perform well, team members must have confidence in each other; they must trust each other.

“When you create a climate of trust and the sense that ‘We are better together than we are apart,’” says Druskat, “it leads to greater effectiveness.” says Vanessa Urch Druskat, an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire

Unfortunately, you can’t force people to trust each other. That is just not how trust works. But you can put people in situations where they will learn to trust each other.

It Takes Communication

“We’ve found patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a team’s success,” writes study author Alex “Sandy” Pentland, MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory. According to Talent Management, 86% of employees blame lack of proper communication and collaboration for workplace failures.

Communication plays an important role in every aspect of teamwork:

Day-to-Day Team Activities

“The general consensus of the executives was that effective communication skills are more important now than ever before for business success,” say researchers James Bennet and Robert Olney, “and these skills will continue to be a critical component of the information society.”

Defining a Team’s Purpose

“I learned that if you have a goal, then talk about it. The teams that win consistently have a committed vision,” says D. Ross.

As Andrew Carnegie once said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.”  It is important that every member of the team knows and understands the company’s goals. Without a clearly-defined finish line and plan to reach that finish line, everyone will ultimately run in different directions.

It Takes Work

“A lot of people think being a good teammate is just something that happens because you’re a nice person,” says best-selling sports author and motivational speaker Don Yaeger. The truth is, however, that it takes time. You have to “learn how to become a good teammate.” Teamwork – unity – takes practice.

“High-performing teams aren’t the result of happy accident, research shows,” says J. Ross. “They achieve superior levels of participation, cooperation, and collaboration because their members trust one another, share a strong sense of group identity, and have confidence in their effectiveness as a team.” But how do great teams get to this point? This is where Terrapin Adventures comes in. We will give your employees a crash course in teamwork.

Here at Terrapin Adventures, our custom team team building activities (onsite or offsite, indoor or outdoor) allow people to play different roles within the team to work out solutions to certain challenges. Each of our team building exercises is fun but challenging, designed to make your employees stop, think, communicate, adjust their plan of action on the fly, and ultimately fail once or twice before succeeding.

“Spending time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common goal  allows bonding to happen more organically and far more effectively,” says O2E Brands founder and CEO Brian Scudamore. “Team building is the most important investment you can make for your people.”

Get in touch with a Guest Relations Specialist today and ask about how we can help you plan your team building event.

Request a Quote for Your Corporate Team Building Adventure!

After each team building exercise, your group will sit down with their facilitator to discuss the lessons behind each activity and how they translate to the business world. This discussion is designed to reinforce these lessons and help ensure that the progress made during your team building outing sticks.

If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at info@terrapinadventures.com to learn more.

Works Cited

  1. Shirkey, Alec. “XChange 2017: Four Crucial Team-Building Lessons For Channel Leaders.” CRN, 13 Aug. 2017, www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/300090416/xchange-2017-four-crucial-team-building-lessons-for-channel-leaders.htm. Accessed 15 Aug. 2017.
  2. Yaeger, D. (2015, May 06). The Value Of Being A Great Teammate. Retrieved August 15, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/donyaeger/2015/05/06/the-value-of-being-a-great-teammate/#14b350882312
  3. “THE IMPORTANCE OF UNITY IN TEAM SUCCESS.” Addocura. N.p., 4 Nov. 2015. Web.
  4. Glaze, Sean. “Two Main Ingredients That Create Team Unity.” Two Main Ingredients That Create Team Unity. Association for Talent Development, 30 July 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.
  5. Pentland, Alex “Sandy”, and Anita Woolley and Thomas W. Malone. “The New Science of Building Great Teams.” Harvard Business Review. N.p., 15 July 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
  6. Bennett, J. C., and R. J. Olney. “Executive Priorities for Effective Communication in an Information Society.” Journal of Business Communication 23.2 (1986): 13-22. Web.
  7. Lavoie, Andre. “How to Build Meaningful Relationships in the Workplace.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 01 Sept. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.
  8. Ross, Judith A. “Make Your Good Team Great.” Harvard Business Review, 7 Aug. 2014, hbr.org/2008/02/make-your-good-team-great-1. Accessed 15 Aug. 2017.
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