How important is teamwork in this particular period?
A question that I’ve been asked a lot lately, especially in this period since a book of mine was recently released on this very topic! LINK
But what I want to talk about today is something a little different: often, more than we like to admit, in what we say and do we also put things that surprise us, that unsettle us, and it is precisely by thinking about these “unexpected” that you can learn something new, about yourself and others.
Let’s proceed with order!
It’s been since Sunday, April 25th, since I did the live interview on Il boss del weekend on Radio Deejay that I’ve been wondering where the answer I gave Daniele Bossari came from:
“How important is the work of the team in a historical period like this?”
“It’s so important!”
Daniele’s question was “a perfect assist,” I could have talked for hours without exhausting the topic….
I could have said that now, more than ever, we need to want, implement, optimize, what lies at the heart of the team: cooperation (working together for the common good). It is only through cooperation, in fact, that we come out of a difficult situation, a situation in which the common good is not the lofty concept of “a better world”, but is also represented by just the “survival of all”.
I could have talked about the collaboration that underlies cooperation, and how one and the other must go hand in hand to function and produce good results.
I could have emphasized the importance of doing some thinking and awareness steps about the foundation (or result) of one and the other that if accomplished lead to a more peaceful and efficient work environment:
– collaboration is the means to bring to life mutual respect, mutual trust, shared goals, shared values, shared ideas, and the generation of new ideas thereby creating a solid and fertile foundation for
– cooperation leading to a better quality of work, a real and deep concrete shared commitment to produce innovation.
I could have confirmed, also starting from my personal experience, that the highest goal we can have, that is to do good to others considering the good of others, involves qualities such as:
listening, empathy, open-mindedness, respect, altruism, knowledge, generosity, communication, sharing,
and also wanting to DO BETTER TOGETHER rather than “being or doing better than you.”
And doing better together involves breaking down the self-defense system, the unconscious mechanism that is triggered to protect us from the three macro fears that too often undermine our will to do and our qualities of:
⁃ not having meaning
⁃ not being competent
⁃ not being liked
system that is the trap of a competition-based existence, where we lose ourselves collectively, and where in the long run we lose ourselves individually (sooner or later we will also surrender to the evidence).
I could have emphasized that the good of others is not only a lofty goal, but can be, indeed is, a need that has to do with another need that in Maslow’s scale of needs is considered a primary need:
a sense of belonging.
And starting from the importance of the sense of belonging, I could have continued by reasoning on the moment we are living in and on the difficulty we have today in cultivating the sense of belonging without a “temple” that welcomes us all together and now we are so used to working at a distance, filtered by screens, that we no longer remember what a real person looks like…
The solution I found for me, and which I think can apply to all of us, lies in the need to cultivate the hope that we can return to seeing each other, to being together for a while, to working in the same room – no doubt about it! – and in the meantime the importance of getting busy nurturing a sense of belonging by focusing on:
⁃ the dream
– the vision
– the goal
– the ambition
⁃ the collective good (whatever collective we are dealing with)
We must have the will to do this and put all our willpower into it, autonomously, nurturing our dream, our vision, our goal, our ambition, our sense of responsibility.
We must nurture the deep conviction that no one can get there unless everyone gets there. This is the meaning I give, today more than ever, to cooperation.
It is also essential not to stop at “having understood” these mechanisms, it is a daily job that requires our attention and our time: along the way we must self-monitor by asking ourselves questions such as:
Am I good/good at …
In short, as you may have guessed there are a lot of things to say on the subject, and Daniele’s question could have led me down many paths that I believe are of crucial importance today both in the world of work and in the private sphere of individual well-being.
⁃ look in the same direction as others?
⁃ continue to look in the same direction as others?
⁃ always be there for others?
⁃ welcome difficulties and crisis?
⁃ manage the emotional part that affects others?
⁃ not question working with others?
⁃ nurture trust in myself and others?
⁃ do I allow space for, maintain and provide freedom for myself and others?
BUT INSTEAD? …
Because all of the above is true, damn right it’s true!
BUT if we are not able to recognize and admit that, after all these months, the sense of loneliness may have appeared and may play a more or less important role in our daily life, we will not be able to restart and restart the processes, in a necessarily new way, in a functional and ecological way for ourselves and for others.
Before restarting, we have to come to terms with the fact that we have all had the time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves a lot of questions (those who haven’t done so are doing their best not to and, frankly, that’s their business!).
And we have to come to terms with the fact that we are alone in those answers. And that’s okay, because the existential question remains a private, intimate affair, remains an individual responsibility.
But it is not in work. In work, it must be an individual matter first and then a collective one. On the different levels, one must have the possibility of dialoguing, confronting, despairing, building, finding solutions, feeling that one cannot make it, immersing oneself in a daily routine without a sense of seamless zoom call, feeling that one is progressing, nurturing hope for a better future… etc. etc… but one must do it together with others!
So, today I realize that my response to Daniele Bossari, almost instinctive, certainly very human, makes sense. It has the sense of a message, or rather three, which I feel like sharing here because for me they were a bit of a revelation:
1) let us not feel alone in feeling alone.
2) let’s take this feeling seriously and make sure we experience it as little as possible, because the feeling of loneliness is not good for anyone or anything!
3) companies/organizations get busy to consider human needs first, this time there is no alibi, no escape route to do otherwise.
The rest will come.
𝑲𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒇𝒍𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈