Learn and Grow: How teamwork makes the dream work

The now-famous “teamwork makes the dream work” was first coined by clergyman John C. Maxwell in his book of the same name in 2002. While the quote seems dated, it remains just as relevant in today’s work environment as it was 18 years ago. The actual quote from Maxwell’s book reads, “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.” 

Don’t be misled by the term “bad team.” After all, there’s no “I” in team and every member is in it together. Troubled teams have challenges with negative behaviors, lack of trust, low productivity, misalignment, and lack of vision and purpose. However, the sheer definition of team becomes its own solution.

A team is a group of individuals working together who collaborate on related tasks to achieve their common goal. Creating an environment where teamwork can thrive means forging valuable relationships with the colleagues within that team to establish a harmonious workplace. Camaraderie and harmonious relationships will shape a comfortable workplace where colleagues are helpful, motivating, and supportive of each other. In such an environment, it is possible for the employees to perform better at their jobs and decrease issues that deflate the team’s work spirit. When employees experience harmony, there is an increased sense of belonging.

As the pressure to fulfill responsibilities and meet deadlines builds, the dedication to upkeeping relationships with colleagues can sometimes take a backseat. Teams can place their own self-care on the back burner and put the tactical work needs first. While admirable and important, ignoring the importance of relationships can compromise the overall team performance in substantial ways. 

It is important to keep the following tips in mind as we stay committed to sustaining harmonious relationships for the benefit of our teams:

Collaboration is the key to diversity of thought and the generation of ideas.  It is also the building block of solid relationships.  Team effort is necessary to achieve a project’s success and while each member plays a part to make it work, it would be catastrophic if members were too restrictive with their time and unable to support their teammates. When peers need advice on subjects you have expertise on, provide guidance, coaching, or just a listening-ear to show support. The good news is, you too will receive it in return when you need it.

Respect & Equality
Staff members appreciate the unique capabilities and value their colleagues bring into the workplace. Demonstrating respect for colleagues and their differences creates a fair environment that reduces stress and increases collaboration—treat each other with dignity and respect. Teams evolve effectively when trust rises, and a sense of judgement is eliminated.

Workplaces that base themselves on acting justly and taking responsibility for their own actions foster a strong sense of collaboration and teamwork.  Accountability nurtures an environment where it is ok to admit and apologize for mistakes, and generates a learning ethos so everyone can grow. Actions such as these decrease conflict and promote workplace harmony, supporting teamwork and success.

Establishing excellent relationships with colleagues can transition your team from one that is transactional to one that is an outstanding, high-performing entity.  When the team is invited to fully show up, use their strengths, and partner together in a collaborative manner, they develop loyalty to one another, their department, and the organization while achieving peak performance.  This harmonious attitude truly inspires the level of teamwork that is needed to make the dream work.