Working together, we are better
"None of us is as smart as all of us."
- Ken Blanchard
Gestalt psychology tells us that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. On an individual level, think of how our brain and body functions. We benefit by everything working in tandem to perform tasks both physically and mentally. The brain needs the body and the body needs the brain. On a slightly larger scale, think of a marching band or a rock band. Everyone has to work together to perform a great concert. If anyone is playing off key or out of rhythm, it can negatively affect the band's overall performance. The same can be said for team sports. Talented athletes and teamwork is what wins championships.
We all work in teams or groups as part of our personal or professional pursuits. Sometimes we get to choose our teams and sometimes we do not necessarily have a say in who we work with. Sometimes we just have to make it work. It may not be a hill worth dying on. We do our best with what we got. The group benefits by getting the most out of each individual to whatever extent they can contribute. Collaborating with others, especially on a large scale, can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. It can take a lot of communication, cooperation and compromise. It can also build lots of character!
It takes multiple organizations and countless teams to accomplish such feats as sending people into space and constructing 100-story skyscrapers. Technology advanced at lightning speed over the past century because of teamwork. We all benefit from people working together to accomplish big things. As cliché as it sounds, teamwork really does make the dream work. Even the most talented professionals realize they cannot do it all on their own.
In what areas of your life do you find yourself having to work with others to get stuff done? It may be just one other person at times, but the same rules of working in a team apply. Communication. Cooperation. Compromise. The best partners and teammates make a concerted effort to achieve the desired goal. Being a team player is one of the most valuable qualities an individual can possess. It's how stuff gets done. We are not here to do it all on our own. Together, we are capable of so much more.
Positive Psychology: The Psychology of Teamwork: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teams
Mind Tools: How to Be a Great Team Player