• Pamila Fonseka

Respect, Trust and Candor

Recently I was reflecting on the great teams I have had the privilege to lead and what made them great. We all know the elusive quality of teamwork where the efforts of the individual in the team outweigh the whole. The question is what qualities need to be in play for teamwork to happen.

Here are the 3 that made this most recent team so productive.

1. Respect is defined as the recognition that each member was different - a different way of expressing themselves, different approach however each person’s opinion or suggestion was taken into consideration. My role is to create an environment where this could take place.

2. Trust was defined by the wiliness to share each other's strengths and weaknesses. I was the first to say that I did not have an artistic sensibility in me and while the team was very generous with their comments it was true. However, this set the tone of honesty when it came to the project which was an awareness campaign and did require an artistic sensibility.

3. Candor is defined by the wiliness to ask awkward questions. Since each member came with different skill sets. Each member needed to be open to asking awkward questions and for the others to not be offended.

All of us were fully committed to the project. This may seem obvious however again it is not always the case when teams from different departments are working on a project. They may not see how this particular body of work relates to the overall organization strategy. The responsibility of the leader is to show the vision for the team. And how this project feeds into the overall strategy.