As we sat down to dine, Dharma noticed that I seemed a bit distracted and asked what was bothering me. I explained that I had a lot on my plate these days and felt like I was "spinning my wheels" so-to-speak. He sat quietly for a moment or two and then replied with this, "Tadpole, is a frog wants to go fast, he should hop alone. if he wants to go far, he should hop with others. It sounds to me like you're trying to do too much on your own. You're always in such a hurry Irwin, I have to wonder if you ever get anything accomplished!m You go from one thing to another and then back again. It's tiring for me to watch. It might be helpful, my boy if you joined forces and teamed up with others who want to do what you're doing. You know...hop with others." And with that little bit of froggy wisdom, my weekly lesson had begun. Dharma started by explaining to me the importance of teamwork. if you look only at the surface, it can seem as if humans and we frogs are very divided. But once you look beneath the surface, you find that there are fewer differences than you first thought. There is a thread that binds frogs together. Dharma says it's the same for humans, too. And when we choose to follow that common thread and work together, we can accomplish great things. Working together as a team can also inspire you to go beyond what you thought was possible. We've all heard the saying, "No man (or frog) is an island." As it turns out, the sum is always greater than its parts. Outcomes are usually better when two frogs or two humans work on something together. Interestly, research has found that moods are contagious. Is someone is in a bad mood, it can bring everyone else down. The opposite is true, as well. When one member of the team is motivated by the work, that positive mood spread and soon the entire team becomes happier and more productive. Teamwork is vital to solving complex problems whether those issues exist at work or in the community. A family is a team. And when family members come together for the common good, they can achieves great things, too.
I was beginning to get the idea. My many projects was not what was throwing me off my game, it was the fact that I was trying to accomplish everything on my own. I needed a team! When I came to this realization, Dharma flashed me a great big smile. He's always very happy when he can see that his lesson is beginning to sink in. Since I was on a roll, I asked Dharma to give me a few additional reasons why teamwork is beneficial... just in case I need extra ammunition when I approached family and friends to join my team.
Here is Dharma's list of the best benefits we can receive from being part of a team.
1. Teamwork fosters creativity and learning. Creativity thrives when we work together on a team. Brainstorming ideas as a group prevents stale viewpoints that often come out of working solo. Combining unique perspectives from each team member creates more effective solutions.
2. Teamwork blends complementary strengths. Working together lets everyone build on the talents of their teammates. While your strength may be creative thinking, a fellow team member might shine in organization and planning. Do not hesitate to share your abilities with the team.
3. Teamwork builds trust. Relying on others builds trust, and teamwork establishes strong relationships with other team members. Despite occasional disagreements, an effective team enjoys working together and shares a strong bond. When you put your trust in a teammate, you are establishing the foundation of a relationship that can endure minor conflicts.
4. Teamwork teaches conflict resolution skills. When conflict arises in teamwork situations, members are forced to resolve the conflicts themselves instead of turning to management. Learning conflict resolution firsthand is a skill that employees can use to become efficient managers down the road.
5. Teamwork provides a wider sense of ownership. Team projects encourage members to feel proud of their contributions. Tackling obstacles and creating notable work together makes team members feel fulfilled. Working toward achieving their common goals allows the team members to feel connected to the organization and the group. This builds loyalty, leading to a higher level of satisfaction with the project. And finally...
6. Teamwork encourages healthy risk-taking. Someone working alone may not want to stick their neck out and try something new. if the project fails, then that lone person will shoulder the burden of the failure. While there may not be an "i" in teamwork, it's been proven that everyone benefits from both the success and the failure of a project. Sharing the ups and downs of working together can make it feel safer to suggest (and try) those off-the-wall ideas. Some of them can turn out to be pretty great!
Besides the fact that I was beginning to feel very sleepy, I was filled with hope and excitement; two things I haven't felt in a long time. After Dharma left and I tidied up the kitchen, I spent a little time deciding which two projects mean the most to me; cleaning up and beautifying our swamp and starting a fly bank to help ensure a steady supply of flies to those frogs who may have trouble catching them on their own. Now, I have to find a few friends and family members who want to be a part of my team. I may have been able to work faster on these projects by myself but I know that with the help of a team of frogs, we can easily accomplish these tasks and probably do a lot more good for Land of Lily Pad, as well. Now it's time for a nap. A long one, I hope!
Please stop back by tomorrow when I'll be taking a look at a very important and under-discussed subject. And that is mental health. October the 10th is World Mental Health Day and I'll have a few educational facts about mental health that I know you'll want to read. So, until tomorrow,