Teamwork in Action: A Real-Life Example

Some time ago, I had the heartwarming experience of seeing teamwork in action on the church staff for which I had worked part time. It jazzed me to see things come together in such a seamless way. Here’s the situation:

A local ministry had requested to use the facility for a training session on helping the less fortunate. Our staff had already gone through this training several weeks before. I was the point person for this new event, as the church has a wise policy of having a “champion” for various events in case of questions and issues.

There weren’t a lot of details to handle, but there were a few logistics such as requesting coffee service, etc. I submitted the initial paperwork, and then the week before, something changed.

I had the opportunity to go on a mini-vacation, but it would necessitate me not being there for the event. One of my co-workers graciously agreed to my request to be the point person instead. I went around to the various departments (sound, food) to make sure all was in place for that Tuesday morning, and went on my getaway.

When I got back, I got the following email…”Please pass along our gratitude to all the staff who made our time at the church so easy. Having the coffee, water, and microphone ready was wonderful. When we realized that we had forgotten pens, all we had to do was ask and voila, they appeared.”

You can’t see my face, but can you tell I was delighted? THIS is what teamwork is about.

The following components came together:

Planning ahead: the event was on the calendar for some time

Confirming details: some email exchanges occurred closer to the event between us and the workshop leader. These confirmed details (such as the desire to have a microphone available) with enough time to make adjustments

Personal contact: sometimes face-to-face contact to remind or ask other staff members about their part in an event is a good idea rather than just relying on email or paperwork that could get buried. This happened within the week before the event.

Communication: when a backup plan was put in place, I clearly communicated this to the event organizer with copies to the affected staff.

Backup: maintaining peaceful and pleasant relationships on an ongoing basis with coworkers makes it easy to ask for help when you need it

[Tweet “Maintaining ongoing peaceful and pleasant relationships makes it easy to ask for help when you need it.”]

Trust: I had to let go of control and enjoy my getaway

Celebration: I copied the entire staff when responding to the “thank you” we received. This was on purpose so that everyone could be part of celebrating teamwork.

[callout]Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. [biblegateway passage=”Philippians 2:4″][/callout]

How about you? In what ways have you seen teamwork in action in your workplace?

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