In just about every domain—the office, the home, and of course on the playing field—teamwork is essential. At the home-front, raising children requires cooperation and a fair division of the workload. The same goes for the office. Plus, do all the teammates share the same goals? Are they committed to the team and its overall vision? It only takes one team player to defy the goals, running the risk of derailing the efforts of all others on the team. In addition, research shows that moods are contagious. Discontent and negativity can start with one member, then infect others throughout the collaboration. Rooting out conflict and disagreement through positive participation and communication is key to a healthy group partnership. Humans are social animals, after all, and civilization is the result of a pooled effort. One can look at how humanity got to this point and determine how team members can model those efforts and join forces going forward.
The Team That Works
Listen and Be Heard
To ensure that a team is running optimally, communication is essential. Every member must be encouraged to communicate and each must be heard. Shooting down ideas and bullying others, of course, disrupts general cohesion. The next step beyond communication is the ability to read others on a team. Having team members who score high on social sensitivity is useful, because they are more observant than most, and can read the emotional cues of other team members. Higher social sensitivity is associated with higher emotional intelligence, which is useful if people want to better understand themselves as well as those around them.