I was sitting through a staff meeting today and began to dream about the elements that make a team successful. The first thing that came to mind is the word proximity. Proximity refers to closeness, connection and commonness. Without proximity, I do not believe a team can exist.
There were four other words that came to mind regarding team as well. The first is trust. In order to function like a team, you need to trust your teammates. Whether your team is in the business world, the church world or in a recreational sport...if you don't trust each other, you are not a team. Trust means releasing responsibility to others and knowing that the task will be completed. Trust doesn't mean making everyone do things in the same way. Trust leaves room for uniqueness, creativity and collaboration. Trust also comes with a deadline. Trust is broken and hindered when responsibility is not taken seriously or is not dealt with in a timely manner.
A second word to describe team is authenticity. This refers to being real, honest, genuine and truthful in your interactions and communications with each other. Authenticity works hand in hand with trust. Where real trust is built, authentic behavior is its' building block.
A third word is appreciation. Teams need to value each other as teammates. In the sports world this is described as playing for each other. When a team trusts each other and is authentic in their interactions with one another, it is because they have learned to appreciate each other. Each of us has something unique to contribute to a team. When our contribution is valued, and we feel appreciated, our trust and our willingness to be authentic and real increases.
A final word is mobility. Change will happen. Teams that are mobile, flexible and willing to adapt to change will have longevity and success in whatever tasks they face together.
What do you think about working as a team?