Fostering Team Camaraderie – It’s NOT always about the mission!


Fostering team camaraderie is no easy task. For many, the team leader-member relationship is that of someone who leads and directs and others who follow. Nothing can be farther from truth than that. You can argue that a good leader leads from the front, is empathetic and so on and so forth. But, that’s not what I am here to discuss today.

I am here to discuss how to invigorate, spread and share the same essence of doer ship and direction across the team, to do one’s best to ensure that each team member is touched by it and dwells in that spirit, so that ultimately, the whole team moves in one direction toward one mission. That’s the stuff great teams’ and great organizations are made of. It takes them over and above individual needs and wants, the organizational benefits and aspirations and toward pure execution to attain a unified mission as one team. It’s an experience par any for the proud members of that team which they cherish forever.

Like I said, getting everyone on the team to think like one is not an easy task. Not easy, but definitely possible! While all individuals have different hot buttons that motivate them and it’s the job of the leader to ensure that they are being actively responded to, its these individuals that come together as a team, to act on one unified objective. The leader and the team members have shared responsibility in helping each other align closer with that mission. And that comes about in several forms of interactions from group to individual settings. Not everyone needs to see the big picture but everyone does need to see the picture from where they stand and understand very clearly their part in fulfilling it. At the same time, team dynamics play a crucial part in how effectively a team performs. This is where the unique differentiator between teams lies. Team dynamics is not strengthened, just by focused concentration on the work at hand. It gets stronger and more effective when the team interacts socially and participates in activities besides work. I am not talking about hitting the bar and sharing silly jokes. For some, that might work to an extent. I am talking about doing things besides work that strengthens their bond and fosters mutual respect and awe for each other. This could mean, sharing hobbies and other skills, connecting to discuss and act on social and volunteer projects, opening each other to new avenues and opportunities, thus fostering learning and cultivating new horizons for the team.

This goes a long way in forming true friendships and bonds between teammates. It takes the relationship to the next level where they draw inspiration from each other. It helps members recognize new strengths and skills in each other, allowing them new found respect for their peers. All of this comes through eventually, when the team acts as one and takes on a challenge head on, in not just successful accomplishments, but accomplishments of a greater quality and higher caliber. This elevates their professional interactions to a new level, helps them find better and more capable personalities within themselves, and most important of all, true happiness in what they do and who they work with everyday.

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Work your strengths, Stablize your limitations!

One of the ingrained aspects of self development strategies that I have noticed to have thrived over a vast period of time is that there is a lot of emphasis laid on the fact that one needs to recognize their weaknesses and spend an innate amount of time and effort working on them to improve. Although I do agree that a very important aspect of self improvement is the need to recognize your strengths and weaknesses, I do not believe that a telescopic review of your weaknesses and inordinate amounts of time and effort spent focusing on them results in any marked shift to strengths.

It’s key that you need to truly recognize, understand and come to terms with your strengths as well as limitations. It’s also important to have a plan in place to stabilize your limitations or weaknesses. To be at your productive best and to benefit from what you do, you need to focus on your strengths than your weaknesses. The effort spent on trying to overcome a weakness is better spent on honing your strengths and realizing its potential. You are bound to come out better, stronger and deservedly rewarded if you apply this strategy.

Not everyone in this world needs to be good at everything. It’s perfectly alright to embrace your limitations while you exert your strengths. There is no need to feel guilty or feel belittled for things that you do not share an interest in or that do not reflect your best self. But, each one of us has some aspects that we enjoy, are good at and can create a distinguished place for ourselves. Concentrate on exerting yourself in these areas, areas that you enjoy working in and can contribute your best to. Your strengths will distinguish you. Work on further excelling in them and exercising them to your very best. Not only will you enjoy what you did and be at your productive best, but you will also cherish and pride the rewards it will reap for you. This in turn motivates you further, to go beyond your best in what you already excel in. Imagine the infinite potential you have available to unravel with your strengths!

Work your strengths to discover your infinite potential while you recognize your limitations and stabilize them enough to not influence your pathway of progress.

Here’s to your success!