An essential part of everything we do at Moonshot Pirates is teamwork. No matter if you are participating in a Bootcamp, an online challenge, or our peer group mentoring program, you are collaborating with other pirates and working on your big vision together with them. It’s more productive, more creative, and simply more fun.
However, teamwork is not always easy. Teamwork means compromising to find agreement, task delegation, and trusting each other, as well as receiving and giving honest feedback. The benefits by far outweigh the disadvantages, but you might still experience some struggle within your team along the way. To minimize the struggles and create the best foundation for you and your team, here are some tips and tricks on how best to work together.
Top Tips for Effective Teamwork
It takes the right kind of culture and environment for great teamwork to happen. Team members need to feel appreciated, comfortable, and respected for being who they are. Without a constructive and empowering culture, thoughts and ideas are not going to flow freely. Our tip on building an extraordinary team culture?
- Value the opinion of every team member. Different perspectives lead to an informed decision. Listen to all and be open to discuss.
- Get to know each other beyond the project. What are the interests and personal dreams of each team member?
Most likely, your team will consist of a broad range of people with different skills and from different backgrounds. Diversity is an undeniable strength of a team, yet in order for great work to happen, the goals and the vision of each individual member must be united in a common purpose and mission. Don’t think that just by working together on a shared project, that everyone shares the same goal or purpose. Instead, use vision to your benefit to bring your team on the same page:
- Create a manifesto of your values and your vision with the whole team. Write it down and hang it somewhere for all to see.
- Return to your manifesto regularly and reconnect to it with your whole team.
Brainstorming is an unavoidable part of any kind of teamwork, but often it’s during those creative times when a lot of teamwork either thrives or breaks apart. There needs to be space for different opinions and crazy ideas. One amazing way to facilitate brainstorming sessions constructively is by using the 6 Thinking Hats methods. It works as follows:
- Assign a hat to every team member. The blue hat is the moderator and has the big picture in view. The white hat is the reasonable, fact-oriented type. The red hat brainstorms from their feelings and emotions. The black hat is the general challenger. The yellow hat is the optimistic voice and sees the opportunity in everything. The green hat is responsible for the flow of new ideas. Everyone needs to stick to their assigned hat, regardless of their feelings and opinions. It’s allowed to swap hats along the way.
- During the brainstorming session, the blue hat can ask for “green ideas”, some “black perspective” or a “red opinion”. In this way, the focus is on the hat roles and not on the team members as such, meaning that you can avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.
- Watch “What is Six Thinking Hats?” video to learn more about the method and perhaps try it out in your next brainstorming session:
#4. Team Building
At Moonshot Pirates we strongly believe in the power of FUN. We might be used to thinking of work as tiresome and as a duty. But we spend so much of our lifetime working – why not make it something fun and exciting?
- Organize team building activities regularly – the better the team spirit, the better the teamwork.
- Explore new settings – sometimes working from another place (for example, let’s discuss the goals for the next quarter while we hike up a mountain) or with a different framework (for example, today only pen and paper is allowed) not only brings new ideas to the table, but also creates stronger bonds within the team.
And finally, at all times offer compliments and appreciation to your teammates. Praise them for their successes, for how they handled a failure, for the progress they have made, for their honesty, etc. Everyone will feel and work better if they feel seen and acknowledged for their contributions. So don’t hold back with your praise.
Moonshot Pirates act as a global community. We know that our unity, our diversity and our collaboration make us stronger. Sometimes it might seem easier to work on your own, but it will be damn hard to steer a ship if you’re all by yourself.
So #beapirate & find your awrrrsome crew to sail with!