Teamwork – our essential nature?
Why do some people find it so hard to work as part of a team whilst for others it’s natural? We can of course look to different temperaments and personalities for the answer. For those who find it hard it could be because they like to work independently and be totally self-reliant, or maybe they struggle to share control with their colleagues and in some cases perhaps they just ‘forget’. They get so wrapped up in doing stuff that they forget that there is other support available to them. The list of personality or psychological reasons goes on of course – arrogance, competitiveness, lack of trust and so on.
I find myself wondering however whether there is something even more fundamental at play here. Something that links to the way we see the world – almost Darwinian in nature. What if some people just don’t ‘get’ the idea (or don’t believe it) that we are all interconnected and that we are all in fact part of the same organism – a single organism that sub divides itself as a family, a work community, a large organisation, a nation, a global humanity, nature kingdoms, planets, Universes and so on…but a single organism nevertheless, What if they don’t think that way and see things on a more separative level? Could that account for why some people find it harder to function as part of a team?
What if we spent some time in our work groups examining the nature of systems and interconnectivity? I watched (again) a film shot by the astronauts of Apollo 8 where they ‘turned the camera around’ and described seeing the Earth hanging in space for the first time, as one of the most profound things they had ever seen. And then observing as the shadow of the sun moved over the Earth and the lights came on across the planet. It is a heart stopping and deeply emotional sight in my view and confirms without doubt for me the deeply interconnected nature and beauty of all living things.
Maybe if we allowed ourselves to reflect on that in our teams, we would find a new access point for team working and cooperation – linked to our essential nature of unity.