One Big Team Challenge

one big team challenge

A recent observation about teamwork comes courtesy of my mother-in-law. My son was playing in a local tennis tournament recently. He plays singles and doubles, but for tournament’s doubles, they pair you randomly with another player your age.

As we watched the doubles match progress, my mother-in-law commented that my son would be doing better if he had a better partner. It got me to pondering how at work, we’re often paired with teams that could “drag us down” or “make us look bad.”

Just like my son, you have to learn to work (and play) with who ends up on your team, right? It’s rare to be matched with your dream team. And just like my son, learning to communicate more effectively with your colleagues is a huge step towards more productive output. At the beginning of the match, my son and his partner were both calling balls and then almost colliding or both backing off. Of course, once you master clear communication, you still need to build the trust necessary to know people will do what they commit to doing.

Sports really are a great way for kids to master essential life skills. But in reality, all of us can continue to improve our communication skills and ways of working with others, especially people we might not have chosen to be in our lives.

Here’s hoping you’re working to be a great teammate. And if you need to assess how you are doing as a leader, click here to download my complimentary high-performance leadership assessment.

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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