The 10 I’s in Team

Posted: Aug 16 2014

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So we've all heard it, the age-old team building mantra: There is no "I" in "Team". Well, for the most part that is true; team isn't spelt with an "I" and the definition of a team calls for everyone to put "I" aside for "we". 

However, it is not entirely correct to say that there is no "I" in team. There are in fact at least ten. Read on to see the ten "I's" every team should have. Ideals Everyone on a team should share the same basic principles and goals. The same traits that are desirable in individuals are desirable for teams as well; honesty, integrity, respect, politeness and positivity. On top of these shared ideals and attitudes, a team needs to share the same goal and be fully aware of what that goal is. After all, their purpose is to work together towards that common goal. Industriousness There is no doubt that hardworking individuals will produce results, but a hardworking team with a strong bond and a clear sense of direction will produce superior results. It is crucial that teams get on well and invest both time and energy into team building and creating a good atmosphere. That said, it must be remembered that the team is at work to work. It is important to strike the right balance between boosting morale and getting the job done; each is as important as the other, together creating a solid, industrious team which will prove invaluable.    

Independence A good team will be able to follow instruction, but it will also be able to work independently. An autonomous team will work together and do their best work, in the best way without you having to keep a watchful eye on them. So be sure to encourage independence, autonomy and ability to follow instruction, in equal part. Innovation Ideas make the world go round. That's true whether you are a creative soul or a multi-million pound business. Now, having a team that works well together is one thing, but a team that is naturally innovative together is a truly wonderful thing. To have a group of out-of-the-box thinkers who collaborate in such a way that they come up with new, interesting and improved ways of doing things will not only keep the team buzz going; it will keep the work dynamic and the company a step ahead at all times. Inspiration Members of a team should inspire one another. Whether that means they are a hive of creativity and idea generation when they are together or that they are simply able to motivate and cheer each other up, it is good to have a team that can inspire itself. Interpersonal Communication The key to a good team that works well together is communication. Exchanging ideas, sharing opinions and engaging in general conversation is the best way to enhance the team's abilities and strengthen relationships within the group. Invested Individuals and groups should be invested in the team and in the work they do. They need to be committed to their team/company and be enthusiastic about the work they do. Teams will also need to be observant and detail oriented to ensure that everything is done properly and to identify any areas that could be improved or streamlined. As the old saying goes, you get out what you put in so by being invested in the team and the work, everyone will get the best out of their job. Impartial & Inclusive Impartiality is important to a team; for people to be open, honest and able to communicate ideas clearly they need to know they'll be met with mutual respect and receptiveness. Of course, disagreeing with each other at some point is inevitable, but the extent to which a disagreement affects the team and the way in which disagreements are handled can make or break a team. Everyone should feel included in all team activities and able to share their thoughts without fear of being judged. Ensuring that your team is open, impartial and inclusive is the only way to guarantee that communication is open and that your team can deal with difficult situations when they arise, without being torn apart. In Sync Making sure your team work well together means your team members have to work in sync with one another and with the company as a whole. In part, this syncing is achieved by team building activities, relationship building and communication. It is also about defining team objectives, giving people clear parameters and goals, and implementing best practices for everyone to follow. By ensuring everyone is on the same page and that the whole team knows the what, the why and the how of their work, you will bring out the best in the team and keep everyone in sync. Interchangeable Success comes from playing to everyone's individual strengths and maximising the team's skill set. By pooling abilities, swapping skills and sharing the load, your team will learn how to embrace new skills and improve those they already possess. This makes for an interchangeable team, where individuals can take on various roles and cover work where necessary. This is both practical and enriching for the team who will face new challenges and keep their momentum, enthusiasm and productivity high. Of course these ten "I's" aren't necessarily immediately obvious, but they are vital to a successful team. The ideas expressed in these ten "I's" support things like team building events and team socialising, as well as a change to certain attitudes. So make sure your team embraces teamwork and invests plenty of time and effort into building relationships by bringing these "I's" to life within your team.    

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