Team Community 2: Cooperation to Celebration

On Monday, I described The Process to Team Community.  The next few posts will focus on methods for transitioning between stages in that process.  First up, the transition between Cooperation and Celebration.

In cooperation, team members view working together as a bartering system of favors, with no genuine interest in one another’s task areas.  In celebration, however, team members recognize the value of each other’s work to the team and so share in the excitement of one another’s successes.  That’s a big shift.  So what can you do to begin that transition?
1.  Set shared goals.  Many teams make the mistake of setting goals in each task area without overall team goals.  If task area goals are all that exist, members have no reason to celebrate the successes of others.  But when other’s successes contribute to the success of a shared goal, everyone has a reason to celebrate.
2.  Increase communication of success. Sometimes, people don’t celebrate because they are simply unaware of the things worth celebrating.  A team comprised of a lot of problem-solvers may be more interested in fixing than praising.  So when one person succeeds, make sure everyone knows it.  And always (literally, always) publicly praise individuals in a way that clearly conveys the contribution their successes are making toward achieving those defined shared goals.
3.  Point out the connections between individual task areas. Make sure everyone recognizes how each task area directly affects other task areas.  For instance, in a production facility, as an HR department becomes better at hiring employees, the production department is able to establish a more consistent quality of output. In a church, the better a children’s ministry becomes at discipling children, the higher the quality of teenagers the student ministry inherits.  While many task area connections may seem obvious, they are easy to forget in day-to-day processes.  So make sure everyone on your team recognizes how their task areas are bettered by the successes other team members have in their own task areas.
These are just a few ways to make the transition from cooperation to celebration.  What are some other ways to make this transition?
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Ryan Stigile

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