Want to know the secret to just about everything?

  • Pay attention.
  • Slow down.
  • Play nice.

You can apply the above rules anywhere, but they are particularly critical to teamwork, whether you’re the official manager of the team or are leading as a team player.

Let’s think about a time when teamwork is critical: during a move.

Let’s face it, moving sucks. Moving an organization sucks even more. Business isn’t going to come to a halt because you’re moving and you certainly don’t want it to, even if you could hit the pause button.

Want to multiply the chaos? Move and merge at the same time.

Picture the scene…the smell of sawdust, paint, and overwhelm in the air. Calls being forwarded to cell phones, boxes everywhere, cartons of Dunkin’s joe and half-eaten donuts waiting to be eaten. The tsunami-like priority list could take out even the best of teams. Although the tasks screamed for attention, I knew it wasn’t about the tasks, it was about the people. (Pro Tip: It’s always about the people).

On Tuesday, I spoke with Greg Satell, an innovation and transformation expert. We talked about teamwork on Instagram Live. When asked what he feels are the three keys to teamwork, he called out: cultural competence, shared values, and shared purpose. 

Through an emotional intelligence lens, those team qualities require a blend of empathy and assertiveness, flexibility and independence, and a megadose of emotional self-awareness.

How do we balance relationships and results to create high-performance teams? We set our team’s sight on the results and we empower the team to own them. We point to where we need to be and provide the environment, resources, and support so everyone can be successful.

In the case of the move, it was more than just team t-shirts, sugar, and caffeine (although they were also critical to our success). It was being fully present to the team’s needs so I could listen, guide, cheer and jump in when necessary.

How do you add value to your team? Are you the go-to person to hear out people’s challenges? The one who cheers people on when they need it most? The one who brings the donuts? Claim three ways you’re already making a difference for others. *We made you template to easily try it out below!*

P.S. For a deeper dive into teamwork, check out management guru Patrick Lencioni. In his classic The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, he goes into detail about five critical areas that must have your attention in order to have a functioning team: trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results. If your team avoids, fears, or ignores any of these, you’re going to have issues.

To learn more about how Emotional Intelligence coaching and trainings could benefit you and your organization, click here.