“Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.”
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing some interesting articles focusing on teams and team productivity. They’re all well worth reading in their entirety; meanwhile, in this two-part post, I’ll be pointing out a a few highlights:
1. Humans are built for teamwork.
Science of People has a thorough article about “The Science of Teams” that is well worth reading. They point out that humans are literally designed for teamwork—we have evolved as “prosocial” animals. As the article puts it:
“Humans are wired to cooperate. So much so that we feel rewarded in the brain every time we help someone else—this is why giving back to others, donating money and helping our community feel so good.”
Our species’ preference for teams is found at the most basic physical levels. One such example is the presence of mirror neurons in our brains. We share mirror neurons with some other social animals as well. These cells get their name from the fact that they help us recognize the behavior of others as similar to—or “mirroring”—our own.
Mirror neurons are the reason we feel sad and concerned if we see someone in anguish, even if we don’t know them or anything about their circumstances. They fire up and we literally feel the other person’s pain. This ability to share social and emotional information immediately and instinctively is a huge leg up when it comes to working as a team.
Appreciating our innate prosociality is essential to Timyo’s mission. Going from the idea that we do our best work in teams, with collaborators, it is Timyo’s goal to make that collaboration as easy as possible, by letting team members communicate their expectations to each other clearly.
2. How We Communicate Matters.
Also from “The Science of Teams” comes the idea that great teamwork hinges upon how we communicate with one another. The article cites a study that “found that how we communicate with our teammates is just as important as what we communicate”. At Timyo, the idea that how we communicate matters is bedrock truth. By communicating clearly, you are not only saving yourself and others time, you are signaling respect. This is very important, because:
3. Respect Establishes Rapport.
Mutual respect is crucial to quality teamwork. When we feel respected, we feel confident and calm enough to do our best work. We’ve talked about non-zero sum games before, and that’s what’s going on here as well—by making it clear that you respect others’ time, you improve the work of the team as a whole. Feeling respected helps us to feel positive about our work and about the people we work with. There’s nothing better than feeling like your team is truly united and working toward a common goal—helping everyone else succeed becomes not only a side effect of being productive but a huge incentive in and of itself.
By letting you share expectations clearly, Timyo helps to establish this crucial rapport.
4. Clear the Way.
From the productivity geniuses at Time Management Ninja comes another great article: “9 Ways for Bosses to Boost Their Team Productivity.” The key to being an effective manager of your team is to make sure that there are no unnecessary obstacles or roadblocks to working and communicating well:
[Good bosses] understand that it is not only their job to get out of their team’s way, but to get everything else out of their way, too. Are you removing the obstacles between your team and their getting work done?”
As a manager, one huge obstacle you can get out of your team’s way is unclear communication, which takes up everyone’s time, contributes to everyone’s stress load, and reduces everyone’s productivity. By introducing clear expectations, Timyo helps you to help your team do their best work.
Next week, we’ll be back with the rest of our top 8 tips!