In this video, Lisa and Elizabeth share three ways a team mindset can help you, even when you don't have a formal team, including 1) engagement; 2)support; and 3) opportunity.
- Why should you develop a team mindset when you're not in charge of a formal team? Even without a team reporting to you, a team mindset can help you in three different ways. Engagement, support, and opportunity. And through analyzing brain scans, researchers have found that cooperation activates two big areas in our brain that are rich in neurons able to respond to dopamine. Dopamine is that same chemical found when we eating a great meal or looking at a pretty face or even getting a compliment.
And contrary to what our political landscape may lead you to believe, humans are actually hard-wired to get along. Our survival depends on it. We are not a species that thrives on the individual level, and for thousands of years, we've depended on each other to find food, build roads, and raise the next generation of people. It's good news for you as an informal leader. When you're developing that team mindset, you'll be working with our natural instincts and not against them.
We need naturally want to be connected and cooperative, but there are a few things you can do to further the process. First, increase engagement. People have to be committed and invested in an outcome to see the benefit of a team. And to create that engagement among your peers, speak authentically about why you're engaged. Do you find meaning in the way you contribute to a customer experience or maybe in your ability to help an organization avoid problems. Whatever it is, speaking openly about it will help your team be more engaged.
We all want something to care about and we're attracted to those people who are passionate. And second, be supportive. Especially in the early stages, teams can be very fragile. If someone's first experience with a team at work is having their idea shot down, they're probably not going to be open to more teamwork in the future. Now you don't have to carry out a bad idea, but you should meet ideas or comments with kindness. Instead of saying an idea is bad, try to build on it or find part of the idea that is helpful to look at when you're solving a problem.
And encourage that dialog and brainstorming, even if it's informal. It's a way you as a leader can develop that team mindset. The third thing you can do is create opportunities. Your brain is a muscle and just like other muscles, the skills you learn won't stay if you don't use them regularly. It's just our brain's way of saving space. So make sure you're keeping that team mindset top of mind and create opportunities for teamwork. They don't have to be trust falls, just these small opportunities for people to work together.
And you can spearhead this by asking for and offering help on some smaller things. The more you collaborate with your team, the stronger you will all be going forward. The notion of a team mindset is mistakenly often reserved for those formal teams. Now in actuality, all you need is two people who share a goal, even if the only goal they share is making an organization successful.
- Listening mindfully
- Being a mentor
- Inspiring others
- Asking for and giving feedback
- Leading in high-stakes situations
- Learning continuously
- Building trust