Three Ways to Improve Team Spirit
Let’s face it. Most of us will work for more than one company in the course of our careers. Whether we jump ship because the organisation is sinking, or because the prospective organisation is like a cruise liner to a dinghy, provided we left on good terms with our colleagues there will come a time when we look back at our time at the company and think: “God, how I miss those times!”
However, rarely do we consider what it is that we miss. Take a second to ponder. Was it the company’s logo, vision, building, facilities? Chances are, if it is not a ridiculously high salary, it would be the people we worked with. Our colleagues and teammates.
This stems from our basic human need for love and belonging: humans are social animals, and have a natural desire to connect with others, to find a place where they can feel a part of. As one’s colleagues satiates the hunger for love and a sense of belonging, to feel commitment towards one’s colleagues is a natural phenomenon.
That said, not only is such commitment natural, it is also a factor which determines motivation and performance. After all, greater commitment would mean that the individual will make sacrifices for his colleagues and the organisation more readily.
So, to proceed to the crux of this entry, what then can be done to deepen the connection colleagues have between one another?
1. Keep the group small
A smaller group, greater closeness, greater connectivity, greater success. Larger groups mean that each individual comprises a smaller percentage, and thus the group as a whole will not be as connected. Simple, isn’t it? Not quite. While a smaller team may seem better because its members are more emotionally connected, a small team is not without its problems. A single unhappy person could lead to the downfall of the entire team. Thus, careful management of interpersonal relations becomes more crucial than before. The implication of this is that the cultivation of an open environment where criticism is constructive and readily accepted is a must.
2. Embrace diversity
A little bit of pride is a good thing, provided egos do not get too inflated. Being able to be proud of something can be a unifying tool in a team and give its members confidence. Such feelings can be created when people perceive themselves to be unique and distinct from others. It works likewise in a team. If its members thinks that the team is unique compared to other teams, the team can work as a source of pride for the team, giving its members a boost in their confidence. Of course, it is important to manage this pride to ensure it does not escalate into hubris.
People feel connected to others when they have faced a challenge together and overcome it together. The success stories stemming from such collaborations are powerful, and can inspire others to work together to overcome obstacles. By sharing news of such successes, it can lead to greater motivation in the team as its members not only begin to have a greater understanding of teamwork and its importance, but also see how each individual is crucial in making a team a success.
Try it out! Create deeper connections between members of your team, and lead your team to success. If you have any thoughts on this article, feel free to leave your comments in the section below.
Credits to Jeff Schott of CEB for inspiring this piece.