Pulling together for a common goal

By Kevin Ward, Conatus Financing Solutions.

We have all heard, seen or read the clichés about people working in teams.

Published in UK Director Magazines Spring 24

Sharing Experience:
Kevin Ward, Conatus Financing Solutions

‘Great team player’, ‘I work best as part of an effective team’ – there are so many clichés about people working together. Surely, with so many of us being fantastic as part of a team, we don’t even need to think about teamwork in our businesses.

Of course, I’m being facetious about the subject.

Teamwork is an area of business that people often take for granted. They may occasionally make passing mention, but rarely give it the necessary thought and development.

Everyone is Different

What can and should we do then? My personal experience is that there isn’t one solution. Each sector or industry is different. Each business is different. Each leader is different. So, to be truly successful in building an effective team, you need to understand the individuals within that team and their personal motivation, skills and personality. It may be that you have a group of highly introverted individuals who love nothing more than being at home with their family, so taking them on a team building weekend at an outward-bound centre is something they would find horrific. However, a different approach could work wonders.

Team Building

A good leader will take time to talk to and understand each individual. Personally, I have frequently gained the best and most effective ideas by asking those involved what they think would work. Engagement and being open minded is often the most effective way to start any team building process. 

Focus on the Objective

When I have had to help distressed businesses, the most successful recoveries have been where the staff have pulled together to face up to the adversity. It’s not a desirable situation, but it is often the best team building process you will find. Leaders and ‘stars’ quickly emerge, ideas are put forward and, if allowed, people jump on tasks, ideas and issues with gusto. People who may not have worked with each other before now do so. Where someone may have held back from recognising another individual’s skills or expertise – whether because they feel threatened or simply dislike the person – a new, more honest approach will usually appear, with the focus on getting the job done fast and right. 

In that example you have a situation where there is a common goal. It’s easy to communicate and everyone is hugely motivated to achieve that mutual target. There are no negative ramifications or worries about who is better than whom.

A Clear Goal

Therefore, having experienced this many times, I believe a simple starting point for effective teamwork is to have a very clear, simple goal that people can believe in. Understand the individuals, their skills, their communication, their personalities, and work with your natural leaders to bring people together in a non-threatening way. Encourage peer recognition and once you’ve ensured everyone is clear on the objective, let them see and understand the reward for all their hard work at the end. 

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Get in Touch

Kevin Ward is Director at Conatus Financing Solutions
E: kevin@conatusfinancing.solutions
Or visit www.conatusfinancing.solutions

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