6 Quick Fixes for Common Teamwork Mistakes

6 Quick Fixes for Common Teamwork Mistakes

Working Together Leads to Productivity

Teamwork can take you farther faster than working alone or independently. Families are teams, as is your local homeschool group, athletic club, and your church. Teaching your kids how to work together as a team, how to both lead and follow, will allow them to enjoy the beauty of synergy- where working together can produce far more than working independently.

Families working together as a team shown by kids hugging each other in a group or team.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”  ~Helen Keller

The value of working as a team is obvious, so let’s talk about some common teamwork “killers”  and how to fix them!

Teamwork Killers

  • Lack of self-awareness & lack of empathy
  • Settling on the First or Obvious Solution
  • Taking Turns
  • Role Confusion
  • Not Taking Time for Reflection
  • Doing it All Yourself

Lack of Self Awareness & Lack of Empathy

Not being aware of yourself and others, not taking the time or energy to try to understand another’s perspective, makes teamwork difficult as the group can easily organize around one person’s perspective.

Fix-It: learn to listen well. Seek to understand as much as you seek to be understood. Learn to be curious about others. Teach your kids to be interested as well.

Settling on the First or Obvious Solution

When teams (or families) get comfortable with each other, it is easy to assume we all know what we’re talking about. This can lead to confusion on many levels; good ideas may be overlooked.

Fix-It: learn how to appreciate, develop, and utilize the art of brainstorming. Encourage your team to do the same. Invite all ideas, without editing, including the absurd and politically incorrect. Set all judgment aside and generate as many ideas as possible. For even greater fun, set a timer and see who can produce the most ideas in the shortest amount of time!

Taking Turns

In every group, there are extroverts and introverts. The extroverts will be happy to do all the talking – happy to be front and center of every decision. The introverts will be glad to sit back, stay quiet, and fade into the background. The problem with not giving equal time to both types is that everyone loses out, and synergy doesn’t end up happening.

Fix-It: give everyone equal time and take turns talking about ideas and working them out. Work on developing excellent communication skills by waiting for quieter members to speak up and teach the more exuberant talkers in your midst to spend time listening and hearing others on the team. Practice the art of not interrupting. Value the input of all team members

The Romans battle as a team showing the productivity of working together and the resulting victory.

Role Confusion

Without clearly defined roles and responsibilities, it gets easy to duplicate effort or overlook things. Roles and responsibilities allow people to take ownership, make mistakes, and problem solve.

Fix-It: be clear about significant roles and responsibilities: who does what, under what circumstances? Positions may change according to age, gender, skill, and project. For example, the roles for making Thanksgiving dinner will be different than for finishing the basement, going on a vacation, or caring for someone who is disabled.

No Time for Reflection

Without clearly assessing how your team is working together (or not), it will be impossible to know if you are working as a team.

Fix-It: make time for regular assessment. Check to see how everybody is doing, what everyone needs, and how well you are meeting your objectives. Again, objectives will vary, depending on the vision, mission, and goals, ages, stages, resources, and skills. Regular assessments allow the team to adjust as necessary to gird up weak links, take full advantage of skills and abilities, and shift team members around for training as needed.

Doing Everything Yourself

Great teams have to work together- that means everyone is working. If your group consists of one person doing all the work, it’s time to train and expect others to do pitch in. As moms, it often feels easier to do it all yourself, but that’s a short-sighted view that won’t equip your kids or allow your team to work as effectively as it potentially could.

Fix-It:  train your team to work together. Allow people to rotate from leadership roles.  Let your team learn from mistakes and celebrate success. Look at the big picture and invest time in training – you won’t regret it.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

As a homeschool family, your team may have additional challenges to overcome. Get more tips specifically for Using Teamwork in Your Homeschool. Working effectively in a group is a soft skill that is sure to catch the eye of modern employers. Learn more about tools and resources that position your homeschool student for career success at our Soft SKills 101 Podcast and become versed in how to teach the essential life-skills for our digital age!

A group of young people at a job working together as a team.

Build Teamwork by Camping!

Build Teamwork by Camping!

Camping & Teamwork

For our second podcast on Teamwork at Soft Skills 101: Life Skills for a Digital Age,  I recount an amazing month-long backpacking trip I took to the High Unitas Wilderness Area in Utah the summer before I started college. Camping is such a great way to build team-work as we find ourselves in situations that are free of normal distractions and have scheduled fun and different activities like backpacking, canoeing, and cooking over an open fire.

Camping often takes us to places of breathtaking natural beauty, re-orienting us to the fact that God is an amazing Creator, who delights in simple beauty.

For this post, we’ve rounded up some great camping tips and tricks, writing prompts and easy snack and meal ideas! Why not plan a camping trip sometime soon!

 

Camping Printables & Tips

Maybe you can’t get out in the wilderness right now but would still love some camping fun.  These camping printables are just what you need!  These can even be printed and used on the trip there.  You will also find some amazing camping tips and tricks.

http://www.yearroundhomeschooling.com/free-camping-unit…/ (+ unit study)

http://www.yearroundhomeschooling.com/free-camping…/

Field Trip and Travel Journal https://www.thinkingkidsblog.org/field-trip-travel-journal/

I’m going camping, now what?! http://www.yearroundhomeschooling.com/free-camping…/

 

Camping Writing Prompts

Do your kids love camping but hate writing?  Maybe it’s time to try some camping writing prompts!  Check out the following pages to combine camping and writing for your student.

https://writeshop.com/writing-prompts-about-camping/

https://writeshop.com/nature-inspired-writing-projects/

 

Other Great Camping Tips & Tricks

Want to make that camping trip extra special?  Then check out these ideas below!  From food to crafts to great tips, we have you covered.  

(For more great ideas you can also check out our camping Pinterest board.)

Incorporate Nature Hikes into Your Homeschool https://thebarefoothomeschoolingmom.blogspot.com/…/4-re…

DIY Camping Light https://thebarefoothomeschoolingmom.blogspot.com/…/4-re…

Camping with Grandkids https://paradisepraises.com/camping-with-grandkids/

Traveling with Kids https://thisbitoflife.com/2018/12/11/traveling-kids/

Traveling and Roadschooling https://www.theycallmeblessed.org/homeschooling-on-the-road/

8 Benefits of Going Camping with your Kids https://thebarefoothomeschoolingmom.blogspot.com/…/4-re…

Best Advice for Camping when it rains https://thebarefoothomeschoolingmom.blogspot.com/…/4-re…

Party through the US https://www.partythroughtheusa.com/p/camping.html

Give your kids experiences instead of things  https://hiphomeschoolmoms.com/give-your-children…/

Food  https://practicalbydefault.com/easy-make-ahead-camping…/

Camping Checklist  https://practicalbydefault.com/car-camping-list/

Family Safety Checklist https://practicalbydefault.com/family-hiking-tips-safety…/

 

So there you have it, some amazing posts about camping with your family.  What are you waiting for?  Get out there today!  Where will your adventures take you as a family?

 

Using Teamwork in Your Homeschool

Using Teamwork in Your Homeschool

Teamwork makes the dream work…Even in homeschool! 

I have a somewhat funny story that I want to tell in this article. It’s about my pastor’s four daughters. 

He had us over for dinner one Sunday and I noticed that each one of his daughters prepared a different part of dinner, so I asked my pastor’s wife why that was and she said, “Well, they are all good at different things.” 

Their youngest daughter seemed to butter bread perfectly. There was never too much butter. There was never too little butter. 

The next daughter to up from her made a mean salad and, since they pretty much had a salad with every dinner meal, she always had something to do.  

The one up next from her had mastered the family favorite side dishes, so she knew that when it was time for a certain meal that she needed to get on her game with the side dishes. They were always cooked and seasoned perfectly.  

The oldest daughter was the meat master. This was the one who would stand outside with my pastor, watching him season and grill meat and she often watched her mom do the same, so she knew that, with certain meats, the flavor came from the spices!  

Each one of them had their own space in the kitchen to craft their part of dinner. When it was done, they each took an item that was needed to set the table and, one right after the other, they would set the table in preparation for their mom bringing out the heavy foods and then they would happily go get their creations.  

They were a homeschool family and even today they have that same work ethic. So, how can you get this to work for you? It may seem like I’m repeating myself a little bit from previous articles. However, there are a few points that I really want to drive home. 

First, know what your family’s strengths are and allow them to display them.

One part of teamwork is putting the best person for the position into the position, stepping back and letting them do what they do. It’s not gonna cause a mutiny. It’s not going to bring a sense of anarchy in your home, but Mama, that’s one less thing you are going to have to do that day.  

Second, make sure that they have what they need in order to get the job done. 

Every sports team has these things in common: 

  • an arena (a place to work),  
  • equipment (something to work with),  
  • electricity (which fuels what needs to be done)  
  • an opponent (a problem to fix), and  
  • practice (to learn the strategies to be the most successful) 

Which one of those do you need to implement?  

Lastly, in order to make teamwork make the dream work in your homeschool, show your appreciation for the effort given, even if the results aren’t that great. If you’re letting your kids help you make dinner and they burned something, instead of yelling about it, thank them for trying and you try to find a way to eat it. If that’s not possible, then stand with them side by side and help them to make it.

Your homeschool will not be as successful as you want it to be without teamwork and, if you are a working warrior like I am, you’re going to see that you can’t afford to run your home without your team. You have a team, so use it.  

(Love this post?  You might also enjoy Hey Homeschool Mom – Keep it Simple!!)

Contributor

Blog Contributor Tammie Polk

 

 

Tammie Polk is a Mompreneur on a Mission! She is a married, homeschooling mother of three girls ages 15, 10, and 5 from Memphis, Tennessee. When she’s not pouring into her girls, you can find her writing, doing crossword puzzles, or playing games! Her major claim to fame is being the author of over 30 books on life, faith, family, and business- all of which were written in the last three years. Tammie is also a business coach, homeschool consultant, motivational and inspirational speaker, and international radio show host!

 

 

How important is teamwork in your homeschool? Teamwork is the glue that holds a successful homeschool together, especially for us busy working moms! Come see our tips for using teamwork in your homeschool! #homeschool #homeschooling #TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy #teamwork

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