Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Teamwork- Secret To Success

"You are only as strong as your weakest point." I am sure you have heard about or come across this phrase. The first time I read about it, I could not make head or tail of it. Strength and weakness have nothing in common or so I thought till I learnt otherwise.

Teamwork is diversity
I work in the service industry in an airline to be precise. We have the marketing team that takes the product to the client, the sales team that convinces the guest to buy, the check in agent who ensures the client checks in and boards the flight, we have the flight attendant who ensures the customer is comfortable on board and off course the team that will receive the client on arrival. You will notice that I have only mentioned the customer facing teams here.

"Teams are most productive when they stimulate innovative thought and propose original approaches to achieving  goals ."

" If the team members all think alike – every person in the group is unnecessary, except one." Scott Mckain

We all of course know that a lot takes place in the background from the time the client decides to buy a ticket to his arrival at destination. We have the caterers who ensure the meals are well cooked and packaged, the pilots who ensure the smooth, safe take off and landing of the flight, the loaders who ensure your bags are safe on board, the IT guy who ensures the systems are up and running to avoid any delays in your flight and the cleaners who ensure the toilets within the airport and in the cabin are clean for your comfort among others. All these people have different skills and abilities but they work together towards a common goals, the client. If one of them fails, the whole system fails.

Teamwork is having a shared vision, clear roles and responsibilities

"The problem is that many leaders and organizations believe “teamwork” also includes liking each other; hanging out after work; going along to get along; or sharing personal stories after a long-day of team-building games. If that’s your definition, teamwork is not as important as you think." Randy Pennington

Getting along after work is not teamwork if the team does not have a common goal, defined responsibilities and clear roles. We do not expect the pilot to do the flight attendants's job or the sales agent to ensure the bags for the clients are on board. The sales agent is going to assure the clients that the bags will be safe till the end of the flight but someone else is going to ensure this has been done. The goal is one, the roles and responsibilities are different and clear cut. When goals are not shared or responsibilities and roles well defined, a blame game arises and nothing will get done and of course you have guessed it right, you will have one unhappy customer to contend with.

Teamwork is removing barriers
Working in silos is a sure way to failure as a team. You must remove any barriers and encourage communication to ensure success. The sales agent has to ensure any meal requests for clients have been passed on to the caterer, the caterer has to ensure the meals have been availed on board and the crew made aware where and how they have been packed. The check in agent has to ensure the meals have been inserted well in the manifest and the same availed to the flight attendant. Barriers have to be broken down to ensure a seamless service. Have the initiative to find out how your colleagues are working, their challenges and how you can make their work easier,any delay in delivery from one group means failure of the whole group.

Teamwork is respect for each other
Teamwork is respecting the ability of every member in the team. No one is more superior than the other. Trust me, I am an expert when it comes to cleaning my toilet at home, but I can not promise the same when it comes to cleaning an aircraft toilet and I do not expect the pilot or the checking agent to know how. We have the best sales team out there and they bring in the best clients, I do not expect them to fix the aircraft when it has a technical issue, that is the work of our highly skilled technical team who am sure have no idea how to convince a client to buy us. Every member in the team has a special ability all of them different but equally important, none can do without the other.

Success in any team is pegged on it's strengths and weakness. You will only be successful as far as your weakness allows. Same goes to your personal success, the weak points you keep on brushing aside focusing only on your strengths, could be the reason why you are not as successful as you would like to be.

****Best Words Of Advice****

You are only as strong as your weakest point

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