The keys to good teamwork? Trust, communiication, commitment and accountability

Teamwork makes the dreamwork for Sandra Sampson

Teamwork makes the dreamwork for Sandra Sampson - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Speaking simply with Sandra Sampson

Sandra Sampson

Sandra Sampson - Credit: Sandra Sampson

Our Motiv-8 business works all over the UK but currently has many programmes running across the South West, including Torbay and East Devon.

The business supports people of all ages who are out of work. Some of the clients may have been unemployed for a considerable amount of time and need significant help to rebuild confidence and self-esteem to enable them to take the first steps back into the workplace.

Others may have recently been released from prison and are now ready to retake their place back into society, some may have university degrees but have just lost their way in life.

My husband Phil and I are very proud of the work Motiv-8 achieves and it gives us a strong sense of joy and fulfilment, especially Phil who is battling cancer. The reward we get from seeing people move forward with their lives, gives us purpose and that all important reason to get up every day, however difficult some of the challenges are.

However, we could not do any of this work without our amazing team, everyone from admin, finance, HR, IT and the wonderful coaches that deliver the programmes to the participants.

We are leaders that aspire to empower and develop our team members and we always look to employ people that are better than we are at the job.

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We set direction, share our vision and enable people to do the job by providing the right resources and environment.

So, you may ask how do we keep doing this, especially when we have experienced continuous growth in our business.

You will have heard about a team forming, storming, norming and performing and we as leaders always need to know where we are in that process as the business and ultimately the team grows.

So how do you create a great team?

Trust is hard won and easily lost and in the workplace often difficult to find.

This is because diversity is the requirement within any organisation, whether it be technical diversity, character diversity or behavioural diversity, an organisation needs different people to perform different roles.

The problem with diversity is it comes with a lack of understanding and trust from others as individuals behave in unpredictable ways that can often create suspicion through misunderstanding. Now trust comes with comprehension and comprehension comes with time, as understanding grows.

That time can be shortened through clever leadership. Social events, team building activities, shared adversity and success are opportunities, if optimised correctly, to develop understanding and hence develop and create a culture of trust.

When trust is established Communication becomes key. It is underpinned by trust, for trust allows for honest conversations, effective feedback and continuous improvement as constructive criticism and openness are seen as positives within an organisation and blame is not.

Criticism serves the good of the whole and is not deemed as a personal attack or one-upmanship and therefore can be taken non-emotionally.

If communication is effective, then Commitment rises in importance as individuals create strong bonds between each other and work together to achieve a greater output.

This is when 'The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.' to quote Aristotle. Strong bonds are formed and people will do great things for each other and with each other.

With commitment comes Accountability and that is when individuals own what they do. It is when people do extraordinary and unexpected things to improve the delivery of their contribution to the

team in a spontaneous and un-prompted manner. It is one of the things that is missing in many UK organisations as transactional leadership and control abide where empowerment should. Modern technology if not deployed properly, reinforces the need for control and reassurance through accessibility and the opportunity to create ownership is lost.

Through ownership a team becomes results oriented as a collective and it is here where good teams become great as they strive to become world leaders.

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