A real team is committed to a common set of goals for which they must work together to achieve. Team members readily set aside their individual needs for the greater good of the team.
Improving your team requires an investment of time and emotional energy. Unfortunately, many teams aren’t prepared for this and try to take shortcuts. Not only does this prevent teams from making progress, it can actually lead to a decrease in the team’s performance. A work group can only become a ‘real team’ when people depend on each other and the unique contributions that each individual can make. Their skills complement each other and they can achieve more together than they can individually.
Team members who take accountability, responsibility and ultimately ownership for their behaviours and actions are often seen as ‘glass half full’ personalities or ‘above the line’ thinkers.
Above & Below the Line Thinking
Have you ever wondered why some people behave, think and act differently under the same circumstances than others do? Above the line people commit fully to their lives. They have self-reliance and are responsible for their actions. They find a way to get the job done. Below the line people just get by. They look to others for solutions to their problems. The diagram below shows what we see in teams with true accountability to themselves and others. Consistent performance of the above the line steps (i.e. see it, own it, solve it, do it) characterise those who think and act in an accountable manner. People who do not take the accountable approach are typically somewhere below the line, either passing through or stuck in the blame game, feeling victimised by circumstances that they see as beyond their control. As you might imagine, when individuals consistently engage in these two very different modes of thinking and acting, they in turn, create very different team dynamics.
What can stop a team working effectively together?
Not understanding each other’s roles and responsibilities can often be one of the main reasons for conflict or dysfunction in a team. Make it your goal to learn as much as you can about each person in your team, what they are responsible for, and how you can work more effectively with that individual towards team goals.
Characteristics of a Retail Team
Most work teams are made up of full-time staff members. In a retail environment, the fluctuations in demand and the hours of opening (beyond the standard 9 to 5) involved mean that teams also include a range of other employment arrangements:
The point of identifying the different workers in the retail industry is to highlight the key challenges involved in effectively coordinating a retail team:
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