Teamwork is about more than just the technical skills of completing set tasks. The most important aspect of teamwork is the people whose job is to complete those tasks.
This week, I was privileged to work with three sectors whose focus was to develop their employees to be part of an effective team. Consideration of context, type of work and the skill set of those involved were pertinent to the process. At its core, Hierometer theory was debated challenging the notions of self-serving status ideologies. These ideologies were compared with the Sociometer theory highlighting the humble human’s desire to belong. How does the awareness of these theories support teamwork? Embracing an ethically, mutually reciprocal, and beneficial process for a practical team framework is imperative if all members are to work individually and collectively at their best. So is the embedment of quality and value-laden infrastructures bounded by support networks to balance the team’s learning and doing.
Teamwork also requires quality team charters and a workplace code of conduct. When created by all team stakeholders, team charters and codes of conduct form guiding frameworks for team action. These frameworks promote role clarification, encourage accountable behaviour, and provide critical statements against which objective feedback and healthy conflict can occur.
Whilst there are many theorists in this space, like Tuckman (1977), Lencioni (2002), MacLean (2006), and Stoverkink et al., (2020), what is critical to a high-performing team is its capacity to learn from its respective experiences. Self and collective reflection consider how well the tasks were completed and a holistic recognition of what was done well (and not) individually and collectively. This purports Phil Jackson’s thoughts that the strength of the team is each member.…and the strength of each member is the team.