“Teamwork is coming together for the benefit of a greater good. In my office, we are all salespeople, so it can be individually competitive, but we must come together as a team so that our overall sales results are better than other teams. We support and encourage each other to succeed, because we know that it benefits us all as well as the company.”
This interview is reaching out to a broad audience to help me (and you!) get a better understanding of just what people actually think about teamwork and how it impact their lives. I hope you enjoy it and maybe gain an insight or two.
1) What is your official job / position title?
Insurance Agent/Sales Rep
2) What is your direct supervisor’s official job / position title?
Sales team supervisor
3) What industry do you work in?
4) How many years have you been in your current industry and job?
5) What are 3 to 5 of your most important skills, specialties, or areas of expertise?
Underwriting, sales, customerservice
01) Describe (in your own words) what you think ‘teamwork’ means.
Teamwork is coming together for the benefit of a greater good. In my office, we are all salespeople, so it can be individually competitive, but we must come together as a team so that our overall sales results are better than other teams. We support and encourage each other to succeed, because we know that it benefits us all as well as the company.
02) Think about a person you feel needs team-building training. How do you think this training would help him/her?
There is a person on my team who is a top seller. She preforms well,but she is not always well received by co-workers because she keeps to herself and chooses not to participate in team meetings or support. Teaching her to participate more with the team could help her gain ally’s at work. She would also be able to share some of her techniques , helping us all have better results. This could help her down the line, because we each have different skill sets that she could learn to help her career grow.
03) How do you think teamwork could help a company or business?
In my industry and department, teamwork is key.In sales, the very nature of the environment is competition. Left unchecked, without having to worry about co-workers, that competitive nature could spill into chaos, with everyone only looking after their own numbers. When we are assigned teams, however, each team becomes a ‘unit’, and while we all want sales, we also want to do better than other teams as a group. Teams foster a wonderful hybrid of competition and comradery that can be very beneficial in a work environment.
04) Describe a teamwork / team-building exercise or event you’ve been through at your work, school, or during training.
One of the most creative team building ideas that I have been a part of was our “pie in the face” competition. Each sales team (there are 9 teams) had a goal to improve over a one month timeframe. That meant we all had to improve our numbers, together as a group. Whichever team exceed their goal by the highest percentage got to throw a pie in the face of a manager.It really brought us together as a team, because each team really wanted to throw that pie.
05) Explain at least 1 thing you’ve learned from a team-building exercise and how it has helped you.
I have learned to help any team member that I can, whenever possible,to improve. Many times, an associate wants to improve their results,be it sales, quality,etc,but may not be comfortable asking for formal help. If you are close with your team, everyone can share their knowledge with each other and overall everyone’s performance can improve.
06) Think back to a team-building exercise you did *NOT* enjoy. What do you feel could have been improved and why?
The most common team building exercise that we have is also the one that I often enjoy the least, which is our bi-weekly team meeting. It is informal, but it often lacks any organization, and can quickly become just a gripe session. With so many people order is key.The meetings that we set specifically to make us more effective as a team are a much more effective use of our time, and help the team become more unified.
07) Describe what you like *most* about team-building efforts and training.
Team-building efforts often give you much more insight into the lives of your co-workers, both in and outside of work. You get to learn details about people that can impact how you interact with them. Many times, just knowing what your co-workers goals,challenges, and personality are like can bring you closer.You get to walk in their shoes a bit.
08) What are a few things you like *least* about team-building efforts and why?
There are times that team-building efforts just aren’t effective. I find that it is usually one or two individuals on a team ,that for whatever reason, doesn’t want or care to work better as a unit. When this happens, it can be difficult to get the rest of the team on board. This can bring tension and you run the risk of the entire team building effort not being effective because of one or two outliers that choose not to participate.
09) When learning about team-building, would you rather read about it, listen to a trainer, watch training videos, or physically participate in an event? Describe why you feel that way.
I would rather jump right in and participate . I find that what usually is most effective is something hands on and tangible. The drawback to videos is that they aren’t personalized to your team and your work environment. They can be useful to learn different techniques, but once those are learned, a hands on approach works best for me.
10) Pretend you are asked to give a quick team-building presentation at work. What are your first couple of steps to get prepared?
My first step is to get a feel for my team.I would do a quick pole of preferences , instructor, hands on , etc, to give me a direction to start. I would then research some creative and effective exercises to try.This is a good time for videos, and tutorials on team-building,so I can be sure to properly follow the techniques.
11) In your opinion, what type or personality of person do you think could benefit most from team-building efforts?
Everyone can benefit from team building exercises, that’s the whole point of teamwork. I find that people who are naturally reserved tend to become more involved. Even people who can at times seem cold or distant often also do their part to contribute to the exercises. It’s the combination of experiences and opinions that makes teamwork a good option for many businesses.
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