There is nothing better than to see a group of ladies who possibly could be friends, complimenting each other either on their hair, clothing, or some other accessory piece. With every sincere praise and admiration from one to the other comes a greater sense of confidence residing in the recipient. Although I personally find it very funny simply because it is quite the opposite of typical guy behavior, the mere fact that they take time to acknowledge each others unique self-worth and beauty is however a lesson learned. This lesson can and should be applied even into business environments for working teams seeking to achieve high levels of collaboration and continuity. In order to build and work within a highly collaborative team that produces and yields high results, rest assured each member must be willing and able to receive, acknowledge and compliment their fellow counterparts. Let’s explore these three areas further.
Receiving good feedback on a job well done is obviously always a great shot in the arm, helping to boost our motivation to go out and continue to produce similar results. And often times we are more than ready to receive the attention and praise we feel is due to us because of our efforts and hard work. Of course naturally there is nothing wrong with wanting to receive positive reinforcement. However, I would like to focus on the alternate end of receiving feedback which is not always so welcoming.
As a truly seasoned professional we must learn how to receive the bitter along with the sweet. A major hindrance to achieving team collaboration is caused by our inability to receive the not so good feedback about ourselves as team members. We often have trouble dealing with the things that we feel may seem to cause us professional harm if exposed or pointed out to us. The fact that our fears and insecurities (which lead into our professional inefficiencies) have been brought to light, cause us to completely break down or withdraw ourselves from the team and ultimately create a breach in collaboration. To combat this we must change the way we think about how we receive information about ourselves. Regardless of the messenger and even how it may be delivered to us, our attitude about success and professional improvement must be set at such a high level that we are willing to receive feedback and turn it into a positive outcome for ourselves.
The same applies to us as leaders within organizations. We at times struggle with being able to skillfully deliver feedback to others that directly addresses the challenges, but yet making it palatable so that ultimately we create opportunities for growth. When communicating to our team members about improvement opportunities we must consider what type of message would be most beneficial for them to receive, given the situation and desired outcome we are looking for. Giving constructive feedback is a skill set that must be individually developed, and in order to use that skill set effectively with your team you must create and establish an environment of trust which starts with acknowledgement.
The power of acknowledgement is a power tool of tools that if used appropriately can build an environment of high collaboration among any team of professionals. I would like to define acknowledgement in this sense; the ability to see each team members natural contribution and value to the team, and to allow space for that individual to fully work within that capacity as well as verbally recognizing their strengths.
Its a well know fact that we are at our best when we are doing what we love and what we are most comfortable with. The more comfortable we become as team members and leaders with acknowledging each others strengths and embracing them, the more quickly we will be able to reach our goals as a team. In order to do this we must not let fear or feelings of inferiority interfere with this process but rather look for opportunities to glean from our counterparts and further enhance our own personal and professional skill. Acknowledgement builds trust, and working in an environment where there is trust allows for safety and freedom for team members to freely compliment each other.
A team that has figured out how to successfully compliment each other is a team that is comprised of professionally mature individuals that can perform at a high level either independently or collectively as a group. Complimenting in this sense is defined as the ability of working teams consistently going through the process of receiving and acknowledging each other in order to continuously work in harmony and unity. Similar to an living organism a truly collaborative team works together by every part supporting the other to produce and yield the desired results. If one member lacks where another member is strong, the difference is made up by the strength of the assisting member. Each member compliments the strengths and weaknesses of the other. Collaborative teams that successfully compliment each other will be able and willing to adjust, adapt and be flexible to the ever changing climates of the business world in order to keep growing as a team. Just as a plant that will adjust to the direction of the sunlight in order to keep growing, teams that compliment each other won’t get stuck in the attitude of “this is how we have always done it”, but rather will gravitate towards positive changes even if that change means stepping outside of their own personal comfort zones.
The underlying key to it all that I would like to stress is that successful collaboration in our teams primarily is dependent upon our willingness to have the right attitude, and how we think about success. I know the example of the ladies giving compliments was a little different in terms of relating it to business, however I think you get my point. Thank you ladies.