Fostering Team Spirit

The life and energy of an organization is highly dependent on people. It is this team of individuals that collaborate with each other to produce products and projects from which the success of an organization heavily relies on. It is critical for everyone to understand the concept of teamwork and to consider their job as part of a team effort.

Fostering team spirit and camaraderie, however, doesn’t come easy. It is one of the greatest challenges every leader must face. Emerging leaders in particular should learn the ins and outs of teamwork.

I have asked notable leaders and trainers for the best advice they would give young and emerging leaders on how to foster team spirit. Here are what they’ve said:

The challenge of every leader is to know each person in the team —what drives their morale and how to engage them. Sometimes the leader comes in with his own “This is how it should be done.” However, I believe the person most qualified for the job is the person five feet away from the frontline. Therefore the leader must develop what that person already knows and encourage him/her to apply it. There are things you can command and there are things your [team] member will surrender to you. It’s voluntary. That’s leadership. When commanded, that’s management.

 – Mennen Aracid, Strengths Strategy Certified Coach

When you’re a people person, [leadership] somehow comes naturally. However, if you’re a people person but not humble enough to accept the ideas of others, it will be hard for others to work in a team. Second is point is that you flex. Whoever and however they are, if you know how to flex, you will be able to adapt. When you flex, you think of the best of other people. If that is multiplied among your team, it would be easier to blend in and work as a team. You have a “we” mentality now because you know you’re not out there to get each other but to help each other out.

 – Marivic Lualhati, President of Citicore Power Inc. Foundation

Always start with yourself. Lead where you are. Most of us, we focus on things which are not of concern or those outside the circle of our control. Traffic is a concern. Our bosses are a concern. Even teammates are a concern.

Do you have any control over them? No. You cannot move them according to your will. But there is one person you can control⁠—that’s yourself.

Here’s the magic part. The more you manage yourself, control yourself—your emotions, the things that you do, your character⁠—your influence grows. I wouldn’t have been able to do the things I do if i haven’t controlled myself.

Early in my career I learned this principle: manage yourself and you’d be able to lead others. Same with your team. You cannot control what others are doing. The best mentality is to ask, “What do I do with myself? How do I improve? How can I do this?” You’d be surprised by the outcome. People will start to listen. That’s when you round people up.

It’s the same with leadership. Leaders should learn to manage themselves so their team would want to be like them and listen to them more. It’s a hard thing, really, but we have to start somewhere. I suggest you start from where and who you are right now. Is it easy to change yourself? No. So how do you expect to change others? Concentrate and focus more on yourself and eventually your influence will grow bigger and your concerns will become smaller.

 – Jeff Manhilot, Management Consultant & Career and Leadership Coach

The first challenge is to collaborate. Generally young people are collaborative. But genuine collaboration is when you’re willing to be challenged. You’re willing for people to disagree with you because you want to learn. It’s changing your mindset⁠—doing something because you want to learn and improve an idea.

When you become more successful, the next challenge is ego. Are you willing to be humble enough to collaborate with other people from different backgrounds? Addressing those is how you foster team spirit.

 – Luigi Mapa, Chief Learning Officer of LinkOD

It is very important for young leaders to be able to think of the other person. If you’re not self-centered but other-centered, it will make all the difference in the world. If your team knows you care for them, then they will care for you too.

 – Danny Lim, CEO of United Neon Advertising, Inc.

As they say, teams are not born, they’re built. Building the steps to a flourishing teamwork could be taken from the advice these leaders have shared with us. If I were to number them, I’d start with Mr. Manhilot’s words: always start with yourself. Forming a strong team spirit begins with every leader understanding and upholding the correct concept of teamwork. Next is to collaborate genuinely. As Mr. Mapa said, leaders should be humble enough to collaborate with people from different walks of life for an idea to improve and ultimately succeed.

Highly motivated employees are generally more productive and are more willing to learn and grow their skill sets. Nurturing their morale and willingness to adapt to organization changes are keys to secure a strong teamwork. Here enters Mr. Aracid’s advice to know each person in the team. Central to this is learning what motivates them and how you, as their leader, can cultivate that motivation for the growth of each employee and the team as a whole.

When a leader is in that position, Ms. Lualhati’s advice comes into play: you adapt and think of the best of other people. As Mr. Lim said, “if your team knows you care for them, then they will care for you too.” As you bring out the best in everyone, in the end, you create a spirit for a group to pull in one direction regardless of their individual functions but all for the achievement of the same goal.

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