“A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of the others.” –Norman Shidle
I thought this was an interesting quote, especially when dealing with the family unit. If we want our family to work as a team, there are steps to take first to ensure that everyone can be sure of themselves and the role that they play in the task at hand.
First, all members of the family need to have a clear vision of the end result and to see how it will benefit them and the rest of the ‘team’. Then they must realize that the part they have been asked to perform or they have accepted to do is an integral part of the whole picture. Helping them to believe that they are important and responsible for a key part of the big picture.
Being sure that each team member is capable of or been trained for their task will help to keep them focused and not get discouraged prior to the completion of the task. Especially with children, we may believe that they know something that they have not mastered yet, and they may get discouraged.
Make sure the whole team knows what the end results will look like and keep them on track by developing a spirit of cooperation. It may be that you will work together on a portion of the project – and be willing to praise the younger member for the contribution they are making. If there are any complaints, be sure to address them quickly and work to keep the mood light and encouraging the entire time. In the end reward your ‘team’ with praise for a job well done and with a special treat of something that they consider ‘great’.
These steps will help us for work that needs to be done in the garden or in the house. They will help the entire family focus on what is important to your family in education, spirituality, vacations or work in the community.
Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Have you ever seen or been on a team that just clicked, everything went well, even when there were obstacles? It is fun to be on a team like that. Have you ever been on a team that no matter how hard you worked the team never quite gelled and what you hoped to accomplish never quite happened. That can be very discouraging. So what is it that makes the difference in a great team and one that does not reach its potential? How does what we learn help us in our families, our most important team.
Great teams and teams that are fun to be on may not always win. But on great teams, that never seems to persuade them from having a positive attitude. Even when things do not go as planned or hoped for, the members of the team always look on the bright side and are willing to give credit to each other and appreciate the effort that they put into the task at hand.
Great teams display great sportsmanship. No matter if they win or lose, they are fair and kind both to each other and those that they played against. They put forth their best effort and play by the rules, never cheating or lying. Teams that display sportsmanship are willing to compliment others for a job well done instead of bragging, criticizing or making fun of others on or off of their team.
Great teams and teammates will still make mistakes and not do the job they were assigned as well as they wished they had. But instead of trying to find someone else to blame, they quickly acknowledge their mistakes, learn from them and then work on doing better the next time. All of these things are true of teams that we play and work on, but they are also true of our most important team – our family.
In our family we want to display a positive attitude, even when things do not go the way we would have liked or planned. If there is an obstacle, we talk to others in the family, prioritize what our values are, make choices that are best for the team – not just one individual. Great families create a culture of being fair to all and understanding that fairness does not mean you will get your way all of the time. Great families work hard together on projects that meet the values and mission of their family, with everyone contributing what they are able to their projects. They are willing to listen to each other and set their own ego’s to the side for the good of the team.
Developing our values and mission as a family and then working together to meet our goals as a team, teaches our children about teamwork and creates a very close and strong family. If someone were to ask you what is your mission / goals as a family, you want to be able to state it simply and clearly. Having the values spelled out and a mission understood is the first step in creating a great team.
When we work together our team is strong, we accomplish much more, and the team is successful. Our most important team we are on is our family. How can we practice teamwork at home? Working together to clean up, do the dishes, work in the yard. Almost every activity around the house can include the whole family. Think about how each member of the family will feel when everyone chips in to help. It certainly is not up to just one person in the family to be responsible for all the cleaning.
Children can also be included as they get older in planning outings for the family. This feeling of belonging and being a part of a team will help them withstand peer pressure in school and in life, as well as be willing to include others in their activities.
When teamwork is learned at home, children will be more willing to assist teachers and other students in school. It may be helping to clean the classroom, or helping other students learn the lesson of the day. In fact as children develop teamwork they are also developing empathy. They will be more willing to stand up to anyone who may bully another student or to welcome a new student into the school. Sometimes new students can have a hard time feeling like they fit in and those who practice teamwork can be of great assistance.
Finally in the community, teamwork is so important to accomplish goals that none of us could do on our own. It is this type of teamwork that Balanced Life Skills is hoping to find in our Bully Prevention Partners website. It will only be all of us working together that we can accomplish the our goal of a culture of peace in the classroom for all students.
In our society even our youngest of children end up on teams involving sports or other activity. Too often the question we ask is, “How did you do?” or we say, “You did really well today!” If we want to teach our children about teamwork though we may want to change the words we use, and start very early teaching them about teams and how we can accomplish much bigger goals together than we can as just one person.
All of us including children have been on teams. Our most important team is our family. When we teach our children that the family is the most important team we are on, we will be helping them to see things from others point of view, empathy. When they go to school they will start to see relationships as not just about themselves, but also get to feel what others might be feeling. When we take them into the community and there are cleanup projects or feeding the less fortunate, they will begin to understand how together we can make a difference far beyond what we can do as individuals.
What would happen if at home we all made a mess? Do we expect that one person would be responsible for picking up and cleaning the mess? If we as a family work together to get things cleaned up, we are teaching our children that teamwork is an important characteristic to our family. Yes sometimes it takes more time than doing it ourselves, but the lesson of teamwork, empathy, fairness and learning how to share responsibility is a valuable lesson for later in life.
Our children, just like ourselves, find that we are on a variety of teams. It may be a school, sports, service project, or for adults we may be on multiple teams at work. Whenever we find that we are with a group of people trying to achieve a common goal, it requires that we have teamwork.
While all of these outside activities are important to demonstrate the qualities of good teamwork, our inner circle of our family is the most important. In fact it is here in the family that we first lay the groundwork for teamwork, and this is where we should have our foundation and strongest ties.
Teaching the quality of teamwork to our children with our example and words have a far reaching affect on their relationships later when they get in school and have to deal with social issues and behaviors of classmates, teachers and teams that they may be taking part in. During this month we will look at what it means to be a teammate, why some teams are successful and others not, how we can contribute to teams we are on and how and why we should speak up as an individual on a team.
Finally I will be tying all of this in to how teaching teamwork to our children has an affect on bullying in school. Follow us here or come in to the school and enjoy taking classes with our team of dedicated instructors.