Most of us have heard someone say “there’s no “I” in “team””. The common definition of that today is “teamwork involves thinking of others, not just oneself.”
So lets think about that for a minute. Most of us work in an environment where we are connected to others in some way. I have worked in more that one industry where I worked solo but I have also had the good fortune to work at a few places where we considered ourselves a team.
When I say team in that context I mean that we were a team like a baseball team where each player had their own job to do within the team and they would do what was required of there part of the job, if they needed a little extra help another team member would jump in and lend a helping hand.
I have also worked in team settings that are more like a NASCAR team which is different. In that case only one person can drive the car and make the decisions on how to drive the car. The rest of the team is there to support the drivers needs like tires, fuel, clean off the windshield but they don’t drive the car.
These are similar to the ways teams work at their everyday job but we have to remember that there are those that tend to work with themselves and for themselves in every businesses. They never give a second thought to whether they are making the other team members job more difficult by the way they do their job. There are folks like that at every job.
You know the one. The one that leaves trash from a job all over the work area or goes to lunch and you don’t see them until the next day. A team is a group of people working toward a common goal and this guy is not a team player.
The thing he and sadly a lot of others don’t seem to understand is that our job in a team environment is to facilitate our teammates ability to do their job.
For instance. One of the people you work with is carrying a couple of large boxes and comes to a door that they need to open. They can stop, set the boxes down and open the door, Pick the boxes up and carry them through the door. However it would save time if someone opened the door for them. A small amount of time yes but small amounts of time accumulate and before you know it a few seconds here and there turn into an hour or more. That’s what I call a “Time Suck”
We may talk about Time Sucks in a different post.
A better example from real life is where I currently work. A truck brings to the building packages to be delivered locally. The truck is unloaded and the packages are placed on a conveyor to be sent to the part of the building where the will be sorted. Packages are taken from the conveyor and placed on a shelving unit. Then the packages are taken from the shelving unit and placed in a container that will later be loaded on a delivery vehicle. What could go wrong?
End to end that is a minimum of nine or more people that handle that package from the time it comes in the building to the time it leaves to be delivered. Every member of the team has to do there job correctly of box of diapers or Bluetooth speaker will be delivered late. Don’t get me wrong we have our share of team members that don’t pull their load.
The point is that if any of those folks are playing with or talking on their cell phone, walking down to the break room, hanging out talking to there friends or trying to get some ladies phone number everyone on the team has to work harder to get finished by time to load the delivery vehicles.
If I ask you what your job is you will probably tell me “I fix cars” or “I bag groceries” or something similar. My job, Your job and everybody else’s job is to facilitate all the people on your team. From the manager to the person working beside you to the person out in the field.
Give it a try. You will find if you focus on making your co-workers job easier your job will get easier. If you take this approach you’ll find that it will be contagious and the majority of your team will follow your lead. There will still be the guy that is just there to earn a few bucks to take his girl out on Friday but the majority want to do the best job possible along with paying their bills.
© 2023, Richard Bailey. All rights reserved.