Get Off the Bench: Teamwork Touchdown


Have you ever had one of those days when you plan everything out to the last detail and things still go wrong? Who did you call first for help to resolve the matter with you? If you are listing the same people over and over again, you may want to reconsider calling in new recruits the next time. For example, the idea of getting things done on your own may seem like the “go-to-mantra” for the many professionals, however sometimes you may need to call your peers and get them off the bench.

Merriam-Webster.com defines the word team as a group of people that work together. There is the formal team structure you work with daily as they support organizational goals. In addition, the team may include people outside of your formal organization structure who have similar goals and requirements that support your organization’s mission. The key to advancing a task includes knowing how to work with diverse teams under deadline pressure. Things like professional courtesy, sending requests for support in a timely manner and being grateful for team support are integral to teamwork.

In addition, some folks are always left on the bench as the 2nd or 3rd string players because we often get comfortable working with the same “go-getters” on different projects. A good coach knows the strengths, goals and areas of opportunities for each member of their team. When an employee takes the time to get to know their peers they can learn how to leverage opportunities to enhance each person’s unique skill sets.

Moreover, understanding the why people are motivated helps to ensure the team scores the big win on a project as a group instead of just an individual effort. Some folks are motivated by group projects, recognition, or something in between. Through the use of effective communication and collaboration, you can make the team effort more about the group moving forward and less about the “me factor.” This will amplify everyone’s perception regarding their role in the organization’s success so the team can score a touchdown together.

Tracey Batacan is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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