“One is too small a number to achieve greatness” John Maxwell
One time we had a training at my former workplace, it was after break tea in form of an energizer. There was a lot of wisdom embedded there in. we were given balloons and told to blow air in them. We were 15 staff and the balloons were 20. After blowing air in them, we put them in one corner. We were instructed to ensure that we keep these balloons up in the air without falling. My friend it wasn’t an easy task for us therefore we did all we could to ensure that the balloons didn’t fall to the ground. Some fell to the ground while others remained up there with the help of everyone in the room participating in the activity.
At the end of that session, we were asked the lessons we had learnt from that activity. Different people shared their learnings and what stood out for me was about the importance of team work. First of all, even blowing air in the balloons required team effort. Imagine how many minutes or even hours one person would take to blow air in the 20 balloons. Do you even think one person could keep all the balloons up there? I personally think that one person would grow weary doing that. When we did everything as a team, we enjoyed the process of blowing air in the balloons and keeping the balloons up in the air without falling.
There are people who want to go alone in life, do things by the themselves and everything is about them. I want to let those categories of people know that it is weary first of all. A Chinese proverb says “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go with others.” Remember no man is an island, you can’t know it all by yourself you need others in a certain area of your life. We must train ourselves how to work with other people whether we like it or not, I know that’s a hard truth. There are a lot of things we learn from other people as we work well with them in the end we wouldn’t have learnt.
Our education system trains us not to work in teams but as individuals to the extent that students compete with each other and start hiding their work as well as marks. Surprisingly when we get into the world of work, one of the traits that is required is team work. People start struggling with working well in teams to the extent that people on the same team start competing against each other to impress their bosses. How much more results can be achieved in an environment where each individual is contributing their strengths, abilities and skills in the team.
My major concern here is that let’s learn to work well in teams. Let’s teach our children to learn how to work and play with other people well because everyone is important and there is something we can learn from them and add value to our lives and ours too. By that way working well doesn’t mean you won’t disagree. Disagreeing with others is very normal, you don’t always have to be a yes person but you need to control your emotions because some people involve a lot of emotions in disagreements which end up in quarrels, fights and exchange of rude words. Learn how to work well with other people in your neighbourhood, church, work place, family and business space. Remember you don’t know it all and you can learn something new from others.