Monday, August 31, 2009
Working with others, whether as an individual or as a leader of an Organization, is an essential part of every individual, manager's and entrepreneur's remit. Team working is rapidly becoming the preferred practice in many organizations as traditional corporate hierarchies give way to flat, multi skilled working methods.
Whether we are Entrepreneur's, CEO's, Manager's or something else, there's a pretty good chance we'll interact with other people along the way. Unless our plan is to work in a vacuum and be unknown to anyone ever, we'll have to factor these people into our equation of success - partners, patrons, investors, bosses, colleagues, clients, customers, and / or critics. Depending on our goal, working with others may be a big factor or a little factor, but it almost certainly counts.
The famous quote by Ryunosuke Satoro, " Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean " reminds me of a good Chinese story which tells us the importance of working together.
In ancient China, during the period of the South-North Dynasty, there was a kingdom called Tuguhun, which was established by the Xianbei ethnicity at the Northwestern border region. The legend Acai was the emperor of this kingdom.
Acai had twenty sons, each one of whom was strong and skilled at fighting. Each had his unique expertise. When Acai was very ill, he called all of his sons together and asked each one of them to give him one arrow. He then said to his younger brother, Mu Liyan, "Please take one arrow here and break it." Mu Liyan easily broke the arrow. Acai then said, "Please take nineteen arrows here and break them." Mu Liyan could no longer break the bundle of arrows. Acai said, "Now do you understand? One arrow is very easily broken, while a bundle of arrows is hard to break. As long as all of you work together with one heart, our kingdom will be stable."
Acai's words, "One arrow is easily broken, while a bundle of arrows is hard to break," tells us the same thing that has been said by the ancient people, "When people's hearts are joined together as one, even a Mountain can be moved,". The story points out the importance of people working together with one heart.
In his best seller book " Success ", J.Pincott talks about how we can successfully work with others. Let me share with you these simple tips which can help us in effectively working with others :
1) Realize that we need others : No matter how independent we are as individuals, we depend on others to define ourselves and create purpose in our lives.
2) Get them to identify with us : Finding out how successful people get others to work with them or for them is always interesting. The bottom line is that we need to make an effort to identify with others and to get others to identify with us.
3) Don't worry so much about getting credit : We may need to work with others as partners or in teams, or working under another person or within a company. Our job, always, is to make that person above us look good at the same time that we get what we need from the job. Actually, the better job we do, the better it is for the person above us. Don't worry about the boss getting credit for what we do.
4) Earn the respect of others : Respect is a strong motivator for success. But it's not easy to achieve the kind of success and respect we wanted. It requires a consistency of behavior that is truly impressive. It requires that we treat others in a honest and caring way.
5) Watch our words : To successful people, working with others means knowing what to say - and what not to say.
6) Handle difficult people with care : Some jobs require better social skills than others. From those who must constantly interact with others, there's a good chance we'll encounter difficult people. Sometimes people say unkind or thoughtless things, and when they do, it is best to be a little hard of hearing - to tune out and not snap back in anger or impatience.
7) Have a healthy skepticism of authority : Like Buddha says, " Do not believe in anything simply because we have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. But after observation and analysis, when we find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. "
8) Don't be afraid to depend on others : Don't be afraid to ask for help; our success might depend on it. There is a magic that results when a person invests in us. He becomes a big-time investor in our success, a stockholder in our dreams. Because, when we ask someone for help, we are implicitly asking him to place a bet on us. The more people we get to bet on us, the larger our network of investors and the shorter the odds.
It goes without saying, the basic principle of working together with our team should underpin how we operate. Managing people doesn't just mean acting as a watch dog but it to see that they get their work done satisfactorily. It also means involving people throughout in a creative role, to ensure that together we are all able to succeed.
When we involve people on broad issues, it will motivate them. Let's not underestimate our people and always remember, their views can enhance everything: methods, standards, processes and overall effectiveness. The managers are not paid to have all the ideas that are necessary to keep their section working well in a changing world, but they are paid to make sure that there are enough ideas to make things work and go on working. Let's use our people and make it clear to them that we want and value their contributions.
Like Henry Ford said, " Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. What are we waiting for, " Let's come together, keep together and work together to be successful in personal and professional life.