Collaboration. Partnership. Teamwork. These are words that we see plastered on company mission statements and team mantras. The intent behind these words is pure. In some cases, however, it falls apart in the execution. In fact, I think it’s one of the greatest challenges leading a team. As PMs, we have an opportunity to foster a culture of collaboration, partnership and teamwork on the projects that we lead. One place to start is with the idea of unity. Unity is defined as the “state of being undivided or unbroken”. The reality is: Teams are made up of individuals and all human beings are imperfect. Before we can embrace the idea of unity, there are 3 myths we must dispel:
Myth #1: There’s no “I” in Team. The truth is, there are many “I”s in TEAM. Although we should drive towards collective team goals, we must acknowledge each individual’s purpose, role and contribution to the team’s success. Embrace the team’s diversity to maximize its potential.
Myth #2: Teams should agree on everything. When everyone agrees, this is usually a warning sign that the team is disengaged. Check the pulse and make sure the team is alive and breathing. Encourage competing views, even those that you don’t agree with. The end result is better decision-making.
Myth #3: Teams should avoid conflict. Conflict is necessary for change. It can be healthy if we deal with conflict openly and channel it into a successful outcome. Debate and disagreement often leads to breakthroughs and solutions because different points of view are out in the open.
When it comes to team unity, the power of One is simple: One vision, one goal and one heart. Power is not in one person, one agenda or one idea. Maximize the power of One to build your team!
If you found these tips from Lakecia Carter, PMP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.
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