A Teamwork Reboot for the New World-of-Work
Change is ubiquitous and the world-of-work is evolving at a relentless speed. Hybrid work environments, labor shortages and 55% of Americans looking for new roles has made creating team culture a moving target.
It’s time to rethink how you lead a team or contribute as a colleague, and as you would expect emotional intelligence tops the chart for great teams in 2022.
The Atlassian blog Work Life offers incredible wisdom and action steps about customizing a team approach in the ever-changing world-of-work.
Sarah Goff-Dupont shared that the two major teamwork themes that emerged to prepare for the unexpected are empathy and communication. Check out these action steps from the Atlassian community.
Delegate More – passing along a project creates an opportunity for someone else to develop as a leader, hone new skills, and take ownership of something that can showcase their strengths. Patricia Omoqui shares:
- Sharing key tasks gives your team members a sense that you have confidence in their abilities.
- Allowing direct reports to tackle next-level responsibilities that align with their interests and talents gives them hope for moving up in the future, as well as the assurance that you’re invested in their career path.
- Providing one-on-one coaching and training will allow you to deepen your relationship with each person, allowing for a more cohesive team environment.
Honor the 4 Cs of Communication as shared by Rose Eliff of Custom Business Solutions
- Clear– Avoid ambiguity. Anticipate any knowledge gaps in your audience and fill in the blanks for them. Avoid jargon. Use vocabulary that everyone will understand.
- Concise– Short, direct sentences are easier to follow than long, rambling thoughts. Avoid filler words that clutter the message. In writing, use bullet points and paragraph breaks to organize the text, but go easy on the exclamation marks. Your words should do the work, not your punctuation.
- Correct– People count on you to be truthful, so fact-check yourself. If you don’t know the answer, say you’ll find out instead of making something up. You’ll be seen as a trustworthy source that others can rely on.
- Compassionate– Be courteous and kind when communicating. Your integrity and kindness will make you a person that others will want to listen to and engage with.
Empathy Rules! Empathy has been described as walking a mile in another’s shoes while sympathy is saying – I’m sorry your feet hurt.
Take the time to ask colleagues how they are and listen for a response. Don’t make assumptions or judgments. Activate these empathetic behaviors regularly:
- Listen actively
- Ask questions
- Be approachable and available
- Personalize your responses
- Be observant and recognize what each team member needs and how they want to be recognized for great work
Define the Problem Before Creating a Solution
Melissa Castán points out that problem definition should be a team sport. Exploring a problem from different points of view almost always leads to a cleaner solution. Don’t become the solution in search of a problem and take the time to fully understand a challenge from different angles. Consider bringing in additional stakeholders to gain deeper clarity and entertain different points of view.
The endemic era workday is still longer than it was pre-pandemic, and the blurring of personal and professional boundaries has exacerbated burnout and the Great Resignation. Use a sharp scalpel (metaphorically) to determine what is top priority and what is truly urgent on your to-do list.
Everything can’t be urgent at once, or it dilutes the concept of urgency. Help others beyond the team understand timelines and clarity of expectations, which will result in greater team morale, healthier colleagues, enhanced productivity, and quality of work.
Design Your Team Culture Together
The new normal still seems abnormal in many ways as we become accustomed to the rapid changes in the workplace out of necessity. A team culture should not be dictated or mandated but developed together with buy-in from all.
Invest in your team by listening and learning about the culture they want to create and role model for others. Your dream team is the team members to design.