I’m working close with one of the new team members for the last few weeks, doing hangout sessions, explaining the system’s architecture, how the different systems glue together, how the team works and what role each team member plays.
During one of the hangout sessions I realized what makes this team to work and why everyone enjoys working together and that is what I want to share.
After working for small and big companies. After being part of both great teams and part of teams that requires an Herculean willpower to wake up on a Monday morning to go to work, I can tell what makes a great team in to two words: respect and voice. Although both are connected and intertwined.
The natural consequence of a team where respect plays a major role in is that each team member feels that he or she is an important part of it. Each individual knows its strength and weakness and does not feel ashamed when seeking its peers for help. On the contrary, it knows who has the knowledge to contribute the best on a given situation. In the other hand, the team member that was sought feels valued, what grows the “being part of team” feeling.
Respect, also means that team members do not feel threatened by each other, what makes everyone to feel more comfortable and free to focus on what matters - solving the business needs. I’m sure you agree with me that it is awful to work with that feeling that everyone are trying to pull you off.
This kind of respect leads to the second word - voice. As you have noticed by now. Everyone can give its opinion, everyone can say whatever they think it is good and what can be improved without fearing being ridiculed or derided. When deciding technical details, one can be sure that it’s opinion will be listened by the others.
It is not easy to create a team like this and those whom are part of such teams should fight to keep the team members motivated, what consists of making respect and voice to have a big part on the team dynamics. Those who are not part of such teams, should ask - how can I make respect and voice to play a big role on my team?