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Teamwork is way more than the transactional conversations between teammates. Yes, we each have expertise and roles that require information exchanges. But sometimes (especially for teams that move from colocated to remote spaces, for teams that increase in size to the point of not being able to know everyone as much as we'd like, for teams that become more distributed and increase in diversity of opinion, perspective, or cultural norms), we can get caught up just in the transactional state.
I think we need to slow things down. We need more understanding. We need to observe, question, and then, act. And if that concept is embraced, teams would perpetually seek to understand where they’re at before engaging with each other.
In a world increasingly focused on transactional communication, we can remind teams that humanity and understanding is at the core of effective and healthy teamwork.
If the overlooked part of teamwork is about getting the right context, perhaps the right mindset to have is: asking the right questions based on the right information, to move work in the right direction.
Information that requires further analysis?
Information that requires problem-solving?
Information that needs dissemination?
Notice where teammates are in their workload and where this fits in.
Notice where teammates are in their investment to this work.
Notice where teammates are in their perceived importance to this role.
Once you start engaging with the right teammates using the right next step for the information, does how everyone is reacting align with what you think makes sense?
Notice how teammates react to your engagement.
Notice how teammates react when you give them space vs lean in.
If individuals take notice of the state of their teammates, what is most important to do in the moment, and who should be involved, I think teams will naturally be more in sync and make better decisions.
Christine P. Dela Rosa