Published: October 26, 2022
In the environment of family and friends, it is generally normal to be able to express yourself as an individual and without judgement. Yet in the workplace, self-expression is often stifled and discouraged; and where expression of individual views or talent (even with the aim of business improvement) can often be met by a negative culture, where people need to ‘know their place’ and are discouraged to ask questions or challenge the status-quo out of fear of being ‘shot down’. These cultural norms (which we find in organisations all too often) can, in turn, lead to anxiety, stress and even to an environment of bullying and intimidation; all of which are factors in the workplace that can put a strain on an employee’s mental health and lead to low-engagement, absenteeism and, possibly worse… presenteeism!
“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people with nothing to say”
An important (but often overlooked) part of being in a team is about helping and supporting each other to be the very best ‘individuals’ we can be… which is surely what teams are all about… supporting each other, so we can positively communicate and collectively contribute our very best to the task ahead… together… carrying out our individual roles with independent accountability, judgement and vitality, but with an inter-dependency to achieve the agreed tasks and common goals!
However, what can be overlooked is that that an effective team is made up from a number of individuals, who each have their own unique life views and experiences of the world, along with their own motivational wants, needs and desires… reward, recognition, learning, belonging, etc. As part of our thinking around Diversity & Inclusion, it is only by taking onboard these unique views – along with understanding and working with the motivational needs of each individual – that we can find the best of team engagement and assure the best business outcomes.
“A team isn’t a group of people who work together.
A team is a group of people who trust each other”
So in our opinion, there should always be an ‘i’ in ‘TEAM’. In fact, it’s arguably the most important part… as long as the ‘i’ doesn’t become the big ‘i am’… but that’s another story!