Having recently gone through a round of recruitment at my work… I am surprised by how many people out there have yet to fully appreciate or experience the benefits of working on a great team.
To begin, let’s be clear… a team (by definition) is a group of individuals who work towards a common goal. From this point of view, most people have experienced this particular circumstance at some point in their life.
However, a great team fully appreciates the fact that they depend on each other in order to achieve this goal. They understand that they cannot achieve the goal alone and nurture the connections required to support the inherent dependency that comes with working on a team.
They understand their role and responsibilities. They understand the role and responsibilities of their team mates. This means that they don’t “throw problems over the wall” at their team mates. Rather they are proactive about sharing what they are up to, especially if this will impact their team mates. In return, they are empathetic and interested in what’s going on with their team mates. Respecting each other’s craft, they trust each other in a healthy and balanced fashion. Being open to constructive conflict in order to ensure that the team is indeed driving towards their common goal.
While this may sound like an idealized situation, I can tell you first hand that I have been privileged and lucky to work on great teams. The Agile coaching community is my extended team (my tribe!) who has helped me stay steady over the years in the belief that not only are great team members possible… they are worthwhile seeking out.
So if you are looking for work and we happen to meet in an interview… don’t be surprised when I ask about your most recent experience with a great team.