No 'I' in team? Yes there bl*** is!

Saying there is no I in team is like declaring there are no calories in cake. 

We recruit people to teams because of the unique skills and contribution they can make. Teams need diversity to excel. 

As teams form so does a unique dynamic for that group of individuals in that context. What we fail to do is support teams in finding their equilibrium with that particular mix of individuals and then helping them readjust as people leave and join the team.

One of the biggest problems in teams which is exacerbated by this diversity, is communication. This includes how people choose to communicate, what they communicate (intentionally or otherwise), how others perceive that communication and of course the ensuing response (or more likely the reaction) received!

I attended a talk on respect earlier this year by Dr Doirean Wilson from Middlesex University, who had studied the different perceptions of respect by students from diverse backgrounds. As she explained the different, subtle, but very emotive signs of respect and disrespect existing across different cultures, such as which hand you eat or shake hands with, it struck me what a minefield human interaction really is. 

Add to this the way information gets distorted on its journey from eye, to brain, to sense making, as the brain fills in gaps or discards information seen as superfluous, then we have a recipe for major miscommunication and conflict. 

A great investment you can make in your team is to invest in enhancing their self-awareness as individuals  as well as their understanding of the different ways their own team members prefer to interact. If you can enhance this by giving people the skills to use this insight to build productive relationships then how powerful would this be?

In other words, there are a lot of 'I's' in team and the biggest one is Insight!