• Communicating information, sharing assignments and working cohesively with the FFL team
  • Appreciating and leveraging the strengths of others, relying on them for help, input and feedback
  • Volunteering to help someone else complete a task without expecting credit for it

When someone mentions teamwork, people generally think of team sports like basketball, football, etc. I never competed in team sports, other than some local school court neighborhood street hockey. So, any time I think of teamwork, I’m first reminded of my high school band. Specifically, memories come to mind, of performing at football games and at contests comes to mind. Looking back, there are specific instances that stand out in my mind, most of which were some of our best performances or favorite shows. I can still picture coming to attention and stepping onto the field in unison, and then the feeling of playing and marching a show as close to perfection as possible. There was nothing better than coming off the field, with the stands cheering, knowing that we had performed our best and had achieved our goals. Sure, I devoted a lot of individual time and preparation to the band, but the importance of the ability to work together in achieving these successes, cannot go overlooked.

Though we as individual members were certainly responsible for memorizing and perfecting our part of the music and sets/positions on the field, those that have marched in a band understand that majority of the work is done as a section (subsets of the band) and/or as the whole band together. This long process required a trust in the other members to not only be in their correct positions and to play their parts correctly but to also help others around them to get better. We learned each other’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and all depended on one another to help us improve individually and as a section. As individuals with varying perspectives and experience, it was critical to constantly communicate and provide feedback to ensure that our spacing and positioning was correct, or that timing or technique was accurate, or even setting expectations and providing encouragement for each other. The successes we experienced were dependent upon many individuals and their talents, but more importantly, how we as one band, used those individual talents, knowledge, and experience to better each other and to perform as one cohesive unit.

The core principals are not that much different, when operating in a team environment within a workplace. It is essential to develop a trust in all team members, effectively communicate, and rely on other teammates strengths and experience, for the betterment of ourselves and of the team. When applying teamwork principles, goals become more obtainable and more can be achieved, compared to everyone working independently. It is always more satisfying to be able to celebrate successes and accomplishments with others.

Key Words and Phrases
Reliance and interdependence; Common goals; Shared responsibility; Cooperation; Mutual accountability; Blended strengths; Esprit de corps; Trust in one another.

Opposite Terms
Going it alone; Not trusting others; Not supporting others; Not relying on others.

GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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