I was interested in a Harvard Business Review article by Heidi Grant Halvorson which describes the most motivating word.
It turns out the word is “together”. The article says if you only have one thing to focus on, make it the benefit of working together.
The article notes an interesting fact. While “together” motivates, much of the work any of us do is “alone.” We drive our own forklifts. We stack our own boards. We nail ourselves. We work at our station. We work by ourselves.
So, we can be people who both identify as a teammate, but work alone. Turns out that identifying with a team makes a big difference. Reearch has been done that says individuals who report strong association with teams, perform differently and report different mind sets than those who perceive they are working alone.
- We work longer. We don’t quit as easy. We know others are counting on us.
- We solve problems more readily.
- We have a greater recall about our efforts and results. Solving problems and better recall would indicate greater concentration on the work and more concern about the results.
- We report greater energy when we are engaged. The work doesn’t deplete us as much as compared to whether we tackle it alone mentally.
- Finally, they reported that the work is more interesting. When they feel engaged with the team, they report their internal motivation is higher than if it is on their own.
If you are a leader, foster team work. Build team identity. Focus on team results. As you attack your work, do it with the team in mind. Get involved with your teammates. It provides fuel for your efforts. It gives purpose to the journey.