Extraordinary Team Blog

Teamwork is Humbling

Posted by Kristin Arnold on September 12, 2007

As an “expert” on teamwork in the workplace, I try to practice what I preach. I don’t want to be known as the cobbler who has no shoes. So, I intentionally (and…maybe it’s an ironic twist of fate) put myself in situations where I must work and play well with others.

This week, I am working with a fellow consultant, my blogmaster and a client. (Whatever would they say if they knew I was talking about them in my blog?). It occurred to me how humbling this fragile notion of “teamwork” truly is.

You see, teams are great for conceptualizing, designing, coordinating, planning, evaluating…but someone has to put the pen to paper, assemble the product, deliver the service. That is done by individuals, usually in a draft form or prototype first, and then the team graciously bleeds red ink all over it.

It’s tough to be the drafter, the owner of the prototype and watch the team make small or significant upgrades. It’s truly humbling to understand that your baby is ugly, and that although you tried your best, the team is going to improve upon your initial draft or “strawman”.

This week, I had to remind myself that someone has to make a first stab at the team’s deliverable. Let’s be gracious in giving and receiving the feedback to take the draft to the next level.

Question: How do you react when the team gives you feedback on your draft?