Things for teams to try: Improving Team co-operation

Here are some ways you and your team can improve cooperation with other teams…

2 Team co-operation - team

1. Lunch with another team

There’s nothing like sharing food with others to break down barriers and just 'be' together. We humans have been eating together for millennia and for good reason. When we have a shared focus we have a shared experience - and these shared experiences are what relationships are built from. There are so many possibilities - going out for lunch, having a virtual lunch, cooking for each other, ordering food in, and lunches where people share something work or life focused they are passionate about.

2. Connect with colleagues who have similar interests

When in work-mode we often forget that relationships are more than getting things done together. They are also about shared interests. Within your organization there are people who will have the same passion for a pastime or hobby - you just don't know it yet, because you never bring this part of yourself to work!

By searching for commonality we deepen our sense of relatedness - that psychological feeling that bonds us to others - and our commitment to one another. Use the People tab in your Friday account to find out what other colleagues are interested in. You may also discover things they have shared about their hidden talents, or find out something about them few people have ever known!

3. Sit with another team for a week

Proximity is a key factor in relationship building. We build relationships to those who are geographically close to us because proximity creates opportunities for serendipitous social interactions and shared experiences. If the team has identified there are other teams they'd like to get to know better, then go sit alongside them for a week. While this might seem like a lot to organize, the logistics is the only thing you'll have to take care of. Our socially curious natures will do the rest! By closing the physical gap, you'll create new connections and understand each other's work realities much better. See if you can make use of what makes your team relationships so good to build stronger relationships across teams.

4. Check your team understands the goals and constraints of other teams

You all belong to the same organization but every team has its own culture. This culture exists because of the personalities in the team but also as a response to the business conditions, constraints, challenges that are particular to them.

Often the way a team works is invisible to others, or their processes and prioritization is perplexing. We work much better with other teams when we understand their objectives and their pressures. So, test how much your team understands about the specific work realities of other teams. Map out the teams in your organization and note down their goals and constraints. Validate this list with the team's leader. Where you have blanks, ask the team leaders directly. Take a step back and ask yourselves: What are our key learning is from this exercise? How do the goals and constraints facing other teams compare to our own?

5. Improve how other teams understand yours

Ask yourselves whether more can be done to build greater understanding across the organization about what your team does and why. What are your goals? How do your goals connect to the organizational mission? What are your main pressures and constraints? When you have a distilled list, you can circulate a "Get to know us" email, stick them on your office door and use them to explain why you work the way you do.

6. Peer to peer recognition

Many companies run some sort of peer-to-peer recognition scheme, where one colleague gives a shout out to another for going above and beyond. In Friday we give you the opportunity to say thank you each and every week because these expressions of gratitude cascade positivity through teams. “Thank you” is such a small word, but it has big power. Take a moment to think about who helped and supported you this week - and then make sure everyone knows it!