Why do you approach your work a certain way? Why do co-workers approach work in ways that seem counter-productive to you? Our approach to work is guided by our personal priorities. Each person has priorities that rise to the forefront in thinking and behavior.
We find it easier to work with co-workers who share our priorities. After all, “they get it!” We may find it challenging and sometimes unpleasant to work with colleagues whose priorities differ from our own: “They just don’t get it!” If we had a way to better communicate our priorities to others and to better respond to the priorities of our co-workers, it would make our workplaces better! Communication would flow more freely and helpfully, productivity would increase, and people would be more fulfilled in their work. All of this would most certainly lead to a better financial bottom line. So let’s take a look at how to communicate better so that our workplaces and work outcomes are improved.
Choose the “best” response you can when you’re under pressure. Intentionally respond with the “best” in character. It pays off. Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible…” What do you believe about the importance of integrity and behaviors that flow from it? How do you know what best leadership is? There are three characters of response that always fall in the “best” category. Choose these three values when responding to any situation, and you’re on track for a better result.
Have you ever watched your favorite musical group perform? They look at each other, nod, gesture, smile—and sometimes speak! They’re intentionally connecting and communicating about the music they are creating together. This is called ensemble and the word literally means “together”. What a valuable skill, and one that is also present in all successful workplaces. Whether you’re in retail, manufacturing, professional service or non-profit organizations, working together well in ensemble means enjoying operations that work. What are some components of ensemble?
Sometimes it’s just a great day, good things happen, stuff goes right, and you’re thinking—“This is magical! Really? Could days like this occur more often?” We are surprised because we are accustomed to dealing with difficulty, anticipating annoyances, and feeling stressed. But there are ways to witness “magic” more regularly. In leadership it’s all about the people with whom you interact.
The word “team” is used frequently for working groups that are not actually teams. I’ve heard departments referred to as a team – even an entire organization referred to as a team. Why is “team” used for groupings that are not really teams? I think that it is because there is a desire that these working groups will approach their work in a collaborative approach that is characteristic of a team. Nevertheless, not all work requires a team; not every working group is a real team. Let’s consider two questions: (1) What kind of work is best suited for a team? and (2) What are the characteristics of a real “team”?*