Conflicts of Interest Blog by Vivian Scott
Who hasn’t seen the poster on a break room wall or heard the rally cry at a company meeting that shouts, “There’s no I in team!”? Yep, the quote is everywhere and even though I understand the intention behind it, I say pshaw to that notion!
It’s clear that the quote is meant to evoke enthusiasm for that teamwork thing organizations always seem to be striving for. They want that well-oiled machine that runs on all cylinders, never has a disagreement, and exceeds every goal put it front of it without breaking a sweat. But the idea that individuals don’t matter in a work group is just silly. Of course they matter! When individuals are able to share ideas, be innovative, and take personal accountability for words and actions, the sky is the limit. If employees are supposed to check their “I” at the door, it should come as no surprise that they also may check the level of interest and personal investment it takes for a team to succeed.
The experts at Question Behind the Question tell us to bring out the “I” in a team setting by asking these questions:
“How can I elevate my performance?”
“What can I do to move the team forward toward the goal?”
“How can I support those around me?”
I think those guys know what they’re talking about. Imagine if you approached the next group meeting and started asking I questions instead of team questions. You’d be challenging the status quo, that’s for sure. Demonstrating that you’re willing to take personal accountability for how well (or not) the team does may start a brand new way of interacting within the group. Give it a try and report back, because, well, I would like to hear about the results.