Saturday, February 21, 2009

Team Spirit

It has been one of those phases – I have been doing everything I should but I haven’t been getting anywhere. And its timing could not have been more wrong. Not that I am not happy with whatever I am doing, but I don’t see how it is taking me towards my larger objective. I am practically drifting (yeah, this year’s first ‘drift’ post is here)

But luckily drifting has had its benefits. I have been putting in a lot of quality time at work, which has allowed me to gel better with my team.  It is only because of them that despite being the most hectic, the last few weeks have also been some of most enjoyable ones I have had at work. I have learnt but I can’t see the difference just yet.

The mention of the word ‘team’ reminds me how much I want to write about mine on the blog. In fact it has so happened that whenever I have wanted to blog, I have had no time, and whenever I have time, I have had no inclination. Since I have both this Saturday evening, I think I will get over with it once and for all.

I had heard loads of stuff about teams at workplace – politics, backbiting, oneupmanship, inefficiency, disharmony, rivalry and all the negatives that made the prospect of working in one really scary. In fact some of my batch mates did face one or more of these issues. But after two months of working with my team, I feel none of it.

The team dynamics are pretty much the contrary. All those aforesaid negatives are surely real because I have faced them in college level teams I have been a part of, but then generalizing the trend is being a little too judgmental. I will tell you why.

Working with Team Aurora (that’s our nick) has always felt like an extension of college. We have so much fun in between work that work never seems tiring. There is a soft hierarchy which is essential for any team to work and I am right at the bottom of it, but I have never felt so, because I have been allowed to work with independence and take decisions concerning the work allotted to me. And whenever I have had problems, some of the senior team members have always been around to assist me. More so, the team has always taken responsibility for mistakes by individuals, which are a part and parcel of work life, but we have come out even stronger.

Five of my eight team mates are from different parts of the country (literally one from each corner). It is a great experience knowing about the cultural nuances which make our country so vibrant. Our discussions go beyond work based on a million topics about each other’s lives, relationships, likes and dislikes, families, habits and what not. Team lunches are perhaps the best time of the day!!

A lot of what I have told you can be attributed to the leader of the team (TL). My TL has been an absolute dream, leading the team by example at every stage. Her passion for perfection is contagious. She will keep cribbing about how tired she is of working and yet stay back till 11PM for an entire week to set things right for others in the team, when it is truly none of her business. She is so approachable that you don’t hesitate to ask the stupidest of questions related to work and everything otherwise. She even once mentioned “Mujhse koi kyun nahin darta? (Why don’t you people get scared of me?)” Frankly we have never reached a stage where she needs to resort to scolding people so the question of getting scared is never a possibility. She is an ultra-professional but she maintains a personal touch by surprising you with these handwritten messages on decorated stars to appreciate good work by any one. Imagine, she has even make a good 30 page scrap book for her team member who is leaving the team for good? (Of course, we all chipped in but she was again the coordinator-in-charge)  It is not surprising when you hear a team is as good as its leader. And I say we are good because our reputation to deliver quality work is known and appreciated by our clients.

“Together Everyone Achieves More” is truly what working in groups all about. I am fortunate to have seen the principle work so early in my career.  

There are quite a few myths which Team Aurora has shattered for me.

Myth 1: “You cannot make friends at work.”

Myth 2: “Personal and professional lives should be kept strictly separate from one another.”

Myth 3: “A boss is a two horned devil who derives sadistic pleasure in seeing you slog.”

Myth 4: “Being transparent to your team members gives great windows to your detractors in the team to pull you down.”

Myth 5: “Professional life is all work and no play.”

 PS: Again, it will be foolish to generalize my opinion to all teams at workplace. My only intention was to change the preconceived notions which freshers (not that I am very old to corporate life) have on this front. 


Pallavi said...

Finally the post is here.
Its one of those things which make you think that everything is alright in the world and people are good. You are indeed lucky and I wish your "Spirited" team all the very best :)

vishesh said...


Gaurav Palav said...

I want to be in ur team...
pls ask ur TL to take me in :)