My business clients ask for new ways to demonstrate the power of teamwork. Here’s one you can use as a leader. Look at this picture briefly, and then turn away. Write down every item you can remember. How many out of the 20 did you get by yourself? You’re probably disappointed in the answer.
I like to use food items (or any other collection of twenty things) to illustrate how we recall more in teams than we do individually. An individual recalls 14-16 items, on average. A team, working together, usually recalls most, if not all of the items. This simple and quick exercise demonstrates how two (or more) heads are really better than one.
When a group of people all focus on the same task, the diversity of their individual viewpoints, experiences, and approaches enriches the results of the whole. Each person will contribute something new – an idea that helps fill out the entire puzzle.
I constantly remind my clients about the power of teamwork. We get a better perspective in teams, because of the variety of individual viewpoints. You might remember something someone else forgot to notice and vice versa. When we work together with a common goal (like remembering 20 items) we have a much better chance of succeeding as a group. And the group enriches each member individually. Try it:
- Focus the team on a specific problem you currently face, and brainstorm solutions
- Ask your team to evaluate the competition, and look for opportunities to pass them by
- Join a book club to discover more insights about a book than you got on your own
- Broaden your perspective by talking with (and listening to) people who don’t agree with you
- Attend a coffee klatch or similar event to discuss current events
Remember to encourage your teammates! There are lots of ways to promote teamwork. Here’s a lesson from an improv group. Any new insight is worth considering. Reward the efforts, and you’ll improve the results.