How Leaders Encourage Cooperation on a Team
Leader, do you want people to cooperate on the team you lead? Do you want people to get along, support one another, and join forces to achieve the vision?
Of course, you do. All leaders want their teams to cooperate. It builds stronger teams when people aren’t on islands to themselves.
How do great leaders encourage cooperation?
I can help you with one quick tip. Let people collaborate. It’s that easy – and powerful.
Collaboration leads to Cooperation
Cooperation rocks in organizational health!
-- Collective buy-in
-- A sense of ownership and empowerment
-- Less petty arguments
-- Lower resistance to change
-- More passion towards the vision
-- Shared workload
-- Fewer cases of burnout
What leader doesn’t appreciate those things?
When you are leading a team, the more you collaborate with your team, and let them collaborate with others – during the planning process and before the final decisions are made – the more cooperation you’ll receive from your team during the implementation process.
Let people participate in brainstorming. Give them a voice in the way things will be done. Allow them to ask questions and even offer pushback.
Of course, you can’t collaborate on every decision. One of the reasons you are leader is to make big picture, strategic decisions. You often have a vision others can’t immediately see until you lead them there.
Whenever a decision, however, impacts other people, especially if it:
-- Impacts how they do their work.
-- Changes the basic nature of what they do.
-- Significantly impacts the future of the team or organization.
In those type situations, I suggest you allow collaboration, because it always brings better cooperation from the team. (By the way, in the church, this is true of paid staff or volunteers.)
In fact, the opposite can be equally true. A lack of collaboration naturally brings a lack of cooperation. People will resist the change. They will be less enthusiastic about the outcome. They will wait for instruction rather than take initiative on their own.
As leaders, we must learn to collaborate better – so our teams can learn to cooperate better.
How have you seen this principle work or the opposite effect occur in a team’s health? Help us learn from your experience.
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