Team Work doing your head in? Do this one thing now.

Teamwork not for everyone

By Cate Schreck - Founder of Lightbulb Training Solutions

It's time for me to confess. I used to find team work, hard work. Not hard in the sense of the tasks a team had to complete, but hard when it came to interacting with, well.....with people. Some people used to, (as my niece says) "do my head in." And don't start me on the array of catch phrases that were trotted out to motivate and inspire me to greatness.

  • Get on the train to success town
  • There is no I in Team
  • Surrender the ME for WE
  • Team work makes the dream work
  • In union there is strength

Don't get me wrong, for some people and some teams, the above is inspirational and motivational - it's just that they never worked for me. I must also clarify that I really enjoyed working with some people but others, well - we just didn't "click" and occasionally there was one or two I could have quite happily "clocked."

So, I decided to work out why I found team work tricky because there was one thing I knew for sure, I couldn't achieve what I wanted to achieve in my career or in my life, on my own.

If you also struggle with "getting on the train" and playing nice with everyone in your team, think back to your childhood (age 8 - 15 should do it) and ask yourself these 5 questions whilst considering all of the different types of teams or groups you were part of - sport, school, after school, family, friends etc.

  1. Did you hide or stand up when teams were being formed and why?
  2. What was your favourite team experience and why?
  3. What was your least favourite team experience and why?
  4. Who was your favourite coach, teacher or leader and why?
  5. Who was your least favourite coach, teacher or leader and why?

After I had a think about the 5 questions, a picture of me as a kid started to emerge:

  • I'm not very competitive – I don’t enjoy beating other people
  • I am de-motivated by yelling, finger pointing and bad language
  • I want everyone on a team to feel valued and respected
  • I am most productive and most inspired if the aim of the team is to help others
  • I like to be in teams that are solution focused - negativity and complaining does my head in

How we felt about teams in our formative years can have an impact on how we feel about team work in the workplace. All of the above is still true for me today, but now no-one does my head in like they would have before. Why? Because I know how to explain my needs and how to find out what my team members need. I understand behavioural styles and that has made all the difference... in and out of work.

If you want to thrive and not just survive in your team, then I urge you to reflect and then take the next step.

LTS have training programs that will help you understand yourself and everyone in your team. We train teams to identify individual and team strengths as well as how to communicate so that ultimately, tasks are completed in a way that leaves everyone feeling respected and satisfied. Watch this video about my customer service team-building program:

And contact us to help your team get it together.

The small print  - None of our customer service team work programs include references to trains or use team work catch phrases, unless you really really like them, or really really need them, then I'll put them in..........maybe.