Team Success: How to Kill It in the Office and Get Promoted
Productive teams are a win-win for everyone. Not only does it help the brand excel - it’s also in the best interests of those who want to be associated with success.
So, want to get promoted? Read on….
No Man (or Woman!) is an Island
While you might be a superstar in your own right, promotion is about more than your own ability. If you can't work well with others as part of a team it’s likely your career will hit a log-jam - especially if the promotion results in additional managerial or leadership responsibilities. So being part of a team that's performing is definitely in your best interests. It also raises your profile so you have more 'votes around the table' at the promotion committee meeting.
Recall the age-old interview question: “can you provide an example of when you worked as part of a team and describe your contribution”? The point here is that even in a team, individuals have independent tasks to perform for the greater good, and need to be able to self-manage. But collaborating, brainstorming and communicating with colleagues is more likely to result in a superior outcome. One which everyone benefits from.
And it's not just the team leader who's responsible for the outcome.
Making Teamwork Pay
Here are some tips and tricks to get the most out of any team you're part of (you’ll kick yourself if you’re not doing these!):
Pretend you have a toddler in the car with you – “Where are we going? Why? How long will it take to get there? Are we there yet”? Milestones and agreed KPIs should help keep everyone on track and manage expectations.
Hiring the best people isn’t enough – It’s not just a matter of letting everyone just ‘get on with it’. Superstars still need leadership to make sure priorities remain consistent.
Set a measurable goal – Keep it simple. As Jim Collins says: “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.”
Repeat.Repeat.Repeat. – People often say things in a meeting and assume: 1) they’ve been listened to, 2) that what they said was taken on board, and 3) that a suitable response was crystal clear. Not so. Most of us have half an ear open during meetings - the other part of our brain is thinking about the next meeting and the mountain of work piling up at our desks. When communicating with the team, repeat, repeat, repeat until you’ve 100% sure everyone’s internalised what you said. It also covers you if things go wrong further down the line.
Market your success – If a team project goes well, spend time congratulating each other and sharing learning and success stories with others in the office. This increases your credibility through association.
Be mindful of your “trust battery” – In other words follow through and do what you say you’re going to, when you say you’re going to do it. This will ensure you’re viewed by colleagues as reliable. If you don’t, you’re not likely to be top of the list of people your colleagues want to work with.
It’s good to talk – Misunderstandings and problems inevitably arise between colleagues. Rather than ignore these and let them fester, have a diplomatic word with a colleague to clear the air. Be very mindful of your language and stick to the facts, not feelings. Emails are great for day-to-day operations but are susceptible to misinterpretation, so don’t be afraid to talk it out. Even if you'd rather stick a pin in your eye! It will benefit your career in the long run.
Keep differing views in perspective – We all come at things from a slightly different angle. We have different motivators, needs and experiences. This tends to cause conflict when people assume others in the team are just being difficult or over-emphasising the negatives. Successful teams are the ones that view alternative perspectives as a positive to help see the bigger picture e.g. ‘Can you help me understand why you don’t want to do this, or why you wanted to do this?’”. Then go with the team consensus and accept that it’s ok to disagree! This will increase your chances of getting promoted big time, as you gain a reputation for collaboration and respect.
What was the worst team you’ve ever been a part of? What was the best team you’ve ever been a part of? We’d love to hear from you.
Email us your thoughts.