When you work in a team where you are excited, challenged and energised by being part of the team, that feeling doesnt happen by accident.
It is like there is an incredible connection between team members and things just work effortlessly and sometimes you almost don’t need to even talk to get things done. And that connection shows in behaviours and teamwork.
When there isn’t that invisble thread then you have to create a thread between team members, and sharing more is always a key to opening up the success you need to create as a team.
There are many reasons why team members don’t share knowledge or experience with each other, ranging from thinking in silos to fear of being ridiculed.
Duplication of workload is a common result when team members don’t share. When information, knowledge and experience are not shared it limits the intellectual capital of the team. The team will simply not perform at its optimal capacity.
Learning is negatively impacted too. When not sharing, you are taking away the other persons opportunity for learning and growth. The team’s growth is also affected.
Everyone expects and needs more openness and transparency, both within organisations and in the external world around us. It starts with us right here, right now, sharing more relevant information.
Here are a few ways to encourage your team members to share relevant information with each other.
It starts with you!
People often think knowledge is power and hold on to it rather than give it away. If you want other people to share information, you need to be the one that kicks it off and show you’re not afraid to share, not afraid to give something away.
Make people aware of the effect
Feedback is essential. Use it to encourage people, so they know that sharing was the right thing to do. Tell everyone ‘by sharing that information, this is what you get’. But also, point out when sharing might have helped – and didn’t happen – and do it in real time if possible. Everything is about learning.
By celebrating success of sharing you’re highlighting how crucial the sharing has been to success. Then dissect it. Why did it work well? If it worked well, find out why it worked and do that again, adapting it to new situations too. The pace people work at now means we rarely take the time to stop and celebrate something done well because we’re on to the next job. But it’s worth it, to stop and reflect.
Dare to share
This is the champion. This is about the fear involved – fear of losing face or saying the wrong thing or sharing too much. Something very powerful happens when people see someone else dare to share. Behaviour breeds behaviour, disclosure breeds disclosure.
So go ahead and fearlessly share what you know with team members for the benefit of everyone and create that invisible thread for your team.
About the authors
Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of “The Team Formula”.
Their latest book, multi-award-winning “Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com
Praise for Leading Teams: “Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leaders” – Debbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA.