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Teamwork or Team Relationships?

When it comes to winning teams, what do you think is more important, good teamwork or good team relationships? I know what you’re thinking: “They go hand in hand of course?!” Not necessarily, I’ll explain a bit further!

In all facets of sports and business, there is bound to be one teammate who doesn’t like another. Yet, they CAN still be successful, but why and how is this good?

When you focus solely on good teamwork, you can be a winning team. The job can get done and success can be achieved, as long as professionalism and courtesy exist. If your goal is for the team to work together for a long time, then good relationships amongst your team are essential.  If personal feelings are preventing the job from getting done, then eventually appropriate intervening may be necessary.

Let’s flip this around. Let’s say your team prioritizes personal relationships. Now this is an emotional currency that can be easily written off, seeing how it is intangible, yet it is very powerful. According to a Gallup Poll, 15% of people are engaged at their jobs worldwide, with America bumping those numbers to 30%. That’s still a whopping 70% of disengaged full-time employees.  I’m not saying good relationships among employees will fix this 70% issue, however, when there is friendship and real camaraderie between others in the workplace, it can make all the difference.  American Time Use Survey says that employed persons between ages of 25 and 54 spend an average of 8.7 hours working or in work-related activities and 7.7 hours sleeping per day. Having friends at places where you spend most or at least half of your time makes a difference. With that being said, you can have great relationships, but lack adequacy as a team. Relationships don’t always equal practicality and efficiency.

So what does all this mean?

The goal here is to provide a simple yet (hopefully) effective understanding between good teamwork and good team relationships

. Understanding the value they both hold separately, then striving to find that sweet spot in the middle, using contextual discernment when necessary.  Not all team-oriented situations are the same, so trying to level your perspective based on the context is valuable. These are two seemingly blended concepts that when separated make for a great opportunity to learn and improve teams, success, the workplace and ourselves!

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