6 Top Tips for Team Work

I’ve been buzzing for over 24 hours as ActionPodcast hit a major milestone on Monday – surpassing 50,000 downloads since we launched! The 21 months of being live, and nearly 3 months of practice and prep before that, have been such an amazing experience so far – and I can sum it up in two words: TEAM WORK!

Photo of the AP Team 2010

True team work!

It is such a joy to be part of the AP team, and I think this has been a vital factor in our success because we all truly love what we’re creating together. But it has very much been a roller-coaster ride, rather than smooth sailing – so I’m inspired to share some top tips for team work at this fortuitous time.

  • Acknowledge & Accept Uniqueness: Chris, Gina, Paul and I are totally different people! We have different strengths, different passions and different foibles! Every team is filled with individuals, and when this is recognised and appreciated – everyone has the chance to feel that they belong and can find their own place within the group.
  • Seek Other Perspectives: Not only are we unique, but we also have different opinions! Instead of arguing or simply agreeing about an idea, we always try to explore the reasons behind why we each feel the way we do. Having four (or more) perspectives means that your team are more likely to be better prepared, and to have considered most alternatives before deciding on the option that best suits the team’s objectives.
  • Regularly Re-Clarify Objectives: The times we’ve nearly ‘slipped off the rails’ have been times when we lost sight of our joint objectives. By re-clarifying what our team focus is every month or two, we are much more aligned on everything we do. Checking regularly that everyone understands the reason why the team exists and what the group’s priorities are will ensure that issues or confusion are raised and resolved much sooner, and acts as a rudder to keep the team on track.
  • Ask For Help: There are times when each of us needs to step back a pace, and the others naturally step forward to pick up the slack. The attention and effort we can each commit to ActionPodcast varies week to week, and we cope best as a team when we know where the others stand. When individuals feel safe to ask for help, or admit that they need to step back slightly, it not only gives the rest of the team a chance to keep things running smoothly but also lets people stretch their wings and feel helpful.
  • Agree to Disagree: Not every decision we make is unanimous, and there are times when we have to go with a majority vote. We are often guided by what our group mission and objectives are, so that we consistently move in the best direction. In a team it is important to respect each person’s opinion, and also the fact that a decision ultimately needs to be made – so agreeing to disagree allows the team to move forwards without people taking it personally or getting upset.
  • No right or wrong: The 4 of us have different ways of approaching things from where to start, what type of plan is needed, what we most enjoy or dislike, to how we communicate or receive information. We got off to a great start with a new project when we realised we don’t all need to start at the same point. In a race, runners have staggered starting points but all understand that they are running in the same direction around the same track – operating in this way as a team can allow everyone to find their own rhythm and contribution – without needing to have a single starting point.

Which of these 6 tips would make the biggest difference to a team you are part of just now?

Being a member of a team can bring many complications, personality-clashes and emotions, yet I can emphatically say that being part of the AP team has taught me so much about myself and how I interact with others – and I wouldn’t change it for anything! I am very capable on my own, but I thrive within the group and truly feel I add as much value to the team as I receive from being part of it. In fact, to borrow a cliche – the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts!

On behalf of the AP team we would also like to send heartfelt thanks to you and all our listeners for your support, comments and questions – we couldn’t do this without you!

We would love to hear from you – so please leave us a comment below or contact one of the AP team directly. If you haven’t already – then Sign up to receive our podcasts directly to your inbox with an additional weekly blog post! You’ll also be the first to receive a copy of our new e-Book – launching soon!