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What do productivity and cooperation have in common?

You need both to have a good, highly functioning team.

If a team is not working well there are two areas that need working on.dog focused on 3 sheep

  • The Soft Skills: members of your team need to know you in order to understand the way you think and like to work and vice versa. You therefore have a start point of mutual understanding.
  • Process: the system to measure and quantify the team’s productivity.

Both can pose fundamental problems.

In liking and understanding your colleague you might not want to delve too deeply as it might lead you to spend more effort considering their feelings, and less time focusing on their performance.

A system can take time and resources to put in place and is based on accountability, checking activity and apportioning blame. This does not necessarily foster a culture of trust but one of wariness and mistrust.

Respect is key here. When the shepherd puts his dog in its kennel at the end of a long working day, they both still respect each other’s position, and are still prepared to work unquestionably in unison with each other, the following day.

With respect but no blame culture, by simply wanting to get the job done, the dog and the shepherd don’t have any rules, paper trails or any other “systems” to follow. They both get on with it unquestioningly and commit 100% to the job in hand. They take the opportunity, adapting to the situation that the job demands, in a natural routine together. They work with a flow of energy, working instinctively, side by side.

Understanding the individuals in your team and understanding how they work with each other will promote the flow between them, motivating them to take ownership of the job in hand. They will be more productive and less wary of taking initiative, confident that they won’t be judged or ‘blamed’ for their actions.

Sometimes the dog sees something and will react accordingly, knowing instinctively that it’s the right thing to do.

Does your team have the confidence to work that way now?