What does ‘team’ really mean?

We have all heard that there is no ‘I’ in TEAM.

We have all been told that we need to ‘work collaboratively’ to get a project done.

We have all been told ‘don’t take it personal your teammates have your back’ when your TEAM doesn’t include you in an important collaborative decision.

But do we really work as a TEAM or are we each working for ourselves and ‘acting’ like a TEAM to get ahead?

I pose these thoughts to everyone after looking deeply at some recent project work. I find there are different types of folks in every team and I’m trying to determine how best to travel down the path without agitating to many of them to get to the end result. We need to consolidate efforts and just stop the BS. Therefore here is what I am finding.

There is ‘one-upping’- I’m better than you and have been here longer so I know all the answer attitudes. These type of folks need to just take a back seat and stop the madness. Help others don’t try to be everything to everyone it doesn’t help the cause.

There is the ‘wrings the face you are consistently wrong I’m going to go rattle and tell the boss attitude’- that doesn’t help anyone either. The tattler just makes everyone untrusting and unwilling to now share project work information. Stop with the consistent ‘run to boss for everything’ and deal with your own issues. Be one with the situation.

There is the ‘I don’t know how to do a process so I’ll ask everyone a different question try to gain your trust and then talk story behind your back about you’ person. Ok this person just needs to stop, listen, learn and for heavens sake the trash talking gets back to folks and others know who it came from so stop. Again, doesn’t help the team.

Then there is the elusive boss who doesn’t help the situation either. They tell everyone, ‘be a team player and be kind, be nice, everyone needs to collaborate or else’. Or else??? Leadership is helpful in all aspects of a project and when there is not a leader and there is no morale to go along with it because teammates are not willing to be kind to one another it makes it difficult to collaborate cohesively.

So what does TEAM really mean? There are a lot of theories out there but how are people getting through the daily grind when TEAM is really an I mentality?

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Stop and breathe

I recently took a trip back out to California and it dawned on me that folks there seem to be consistently in overdrive.

Don’t get me wrong, I Love California. Born, raised, wed and raised my own child there, but it has been nice to live away from the hustle and bustle. Everyone is always tapped in to something and always in such a rush.

Cars zoom in and out of traffic lanes, people push past you to get in line for coffee, airport terminals are crammed with people, it has become a constantly moving and sensory overload environment if you are not in it everyday.

Small bites nowadays. I can take small bites. I love my home state but I also like being less rushed.

DailyPrompt: Rush

Just the facts

Fact: I’m tired.

I’m tired of people who don’t believe me when I tell them something.

Fact: I try my best at everything I do.

I really do but it gets side stepped by those who have blinders on or only want to see what they want to see my doing.

Fact: I’m actually a really nice person.

I only get labeled by people because everyone has a bad day every now and then and when I have a bad day I’m a bit more vocal than most. It is who I am- aren’t we suppose to be ‘real people’?

Fact: I’m a hard worker who deserves to be recognized for the work I do.

It doesn’t always happen though so I just keep doing my work day by day as I should.

Fact: I should smile more.

I want to but I need something to smile more about.

These are just some of my facts that I have to share. We could all write about other things but what are you experiencing each day. What is one fact. I’m listening.

DailyPrompt: Fact

Out on a limb

I’ve been watching the birds outside the window sitting in the tree chirping and soaking in the rays of the sun, flitting about from branch to branch. They really are busy creatures throughout the day and it reminds me that they are just like us. We flit about just the same from place to place, from call to call, meeting to meeting, e-mail to e-mail to get the daily work done. I don’t think we stop long enough to take in what is around us each day and enjoy what is physically there present and accounted for.

We are asked to be present and give audible tones to say ‘here’, ‘yes sir’, ‘yes ma’am’, but are we really present physically? I know I am going out on a limb but I watched the birds on the branch and they look around and take a moment, even that brief 30 seconds of rest before flying off to another tree and I wonder, should we take that time as well to be present and accounted for for ourselves each day before moving between everything we do? Do we mentally take breaks through the day at all?

I’m just processing and cycling while watching the birds but have you ever just sat and thought about that?

DailyPrompt: Branch

What is it really?

Intent. MVP. Ability to work.

You might see these terms when you hear the word viable in the workplace. In a product world you hear MVP all the time and it isn’t for Most Valuable Player even though when you look at it sometimes the Minimum Viable Product can be a valuable resource in the long run to get a job done.

What really is Viable though to each person? Is it the ability to work collaboratively with one another? Is it the overall intent to bring harmony to a project? Or is it just a way to get a product out the door and into the hands of the consumer-MVP.

Viable is different for each and each needs to find the answer. I live in a world of MVPs daily.

What else can it be.

Daily Prompt: Viable

To be heard

You wonder sometimes if you are heard.

I sit on conference calls a lot and when I speak up at times I don’t know if people are listening or grasping for things to do while I talk. Have I been heard?

In another situation silence makes you wonder if what you have said means you’ve been heard.

I often try to talk to my adult college age child about important matters (i.e. Scholarship deadlines, money, life plans, choices) and wonder- have I been heard. 

There are times when I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs just to see if anyone will react because I am invisible to them and unheard. 

What does it take to be heard nowadays? Does it take people to fight in the streets, post ridiculous media segments, protest for a cause that is only one sided or be part of something you know is not within your moral ground. Is that what it takes to be heard? If it is- I’d rather be silent.

Daily Prompt: Heard

Childhood Memories

Every now and then we go back in time, does anyone know what I mean? A smell, a song, a familiar sight it doesn’t matter what it is but we are taken back.  Several things take me back to my childhood and don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all sunshine and roses but I do remember the happy moments most- I think we all do in some way.

My best moments to remember are playing at the beach near the lake, taking walks in the woods near the river or lake with my boyfriend, or playing in the front yard. As a child I loved to make forts out of blankets and believing I were in some other country. I am not a camper so this was the closest thing I ever got to really camping and it was perfectly fine with me. Other moments were playing with my Adventure People. Loved them. So many adventures and careers I pretended to be: EMT, Nurse, Rock Climber, Marine Life Rescue Worker, the list can go on- I had a great imagination. I also can’t leave out playing with Evil Kanevil and Dary Daring. I guess growing up in the mountains with your friends spread out throughout the Lake Tahoe basin it was hard to always get to their houses and one needed to be creative and learn to use their imagination. 

If you were to ask a GenX or GenY what they did, the answer would be different. I’m glad I was able to have fun, experience the outside and live. Your mind is an endless creative way to socialize even if it is with toys and the memories you create are lasting. 

Daily Prompt: Childhood