Heart = we


ELIZABETH DENLEY explores the nature of teamwork.

There are many buzzwords these days in corporate culture, in psychology and in the growing field of holistic well-being. One of the most popular is ‘teamwork’. Everyone knows that cooperation and teamwork are essential to life and to the modern workplace. In fact, teamwork is one of the most essential life skills for a social species like Homo sapiens. We would not survive without it!

There are so many courses, workshops and self-help books on how to develop teamwork – probably because we have lost the art, otherwise we would not need them. They are generally excellent, too. I remember when my kids were in primary school and they learned Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats. When they were teenagers I bought them Sean Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, and I was so impressed by his approach to teamwork.

…when we identify as ‘we’,
then differences are simply the component parts of a holistic view.
Teamwork becomes natural…

We all know the theory:

Be inclusive.

Include people with different perspectives to get a rich mix of ideas.

Include people with different skills and strengths, so that they complement each other.

Include people who fulfill different roles in the team – harmonizers and challengers, innovators and implementers, leaders and followers, presenters and support people, communicators and introspectors etc.

Great teamwork is like a great piece of music or a garden, where the different elements blend together through synergy.

Look for the genius, the gems, in everyone.

Make sure everyone listens to each other.

Know how to bring harmony when it is disturbed. Make sure everyone is familiar with the basic principles of communication and facilitation.

Create your environment so that it is the most conducive to harmonious, creative and dynamic teamwork.

We also know the concept of Ubuntu in African communities and the interconnectedness of the people in many traditional indigenous societies.

Yet with all this, still we don’t strike the balance. We know the theory, and we have the set of ‘rules’ for great teamwork, but something is lacking.

Here is what I have learnt:

First, we can know every good thing to do, but unless we remove all the patterning and habits that causes us to be pulled away from those good things, change will only be superficial. We need a method to remove the patterns and habits from the very root, like Yogic Cleaning.

Second, when we identify with ‘I’, we struggle in teams, because we still put ourselves ahead of others or below others. Either way, it does not lead to effective teamwork, although seeing others as greater than ourselves is definitely better than seeing ourselves as greater than others!

When we focus on our differences with others, the ego is dominant. Whereas when we identify as ‘we’, then differences are simply the component parts of a holistic view.

Teamwork becomes natural, because

heart = we

When we involve the heart, we will be satisfied. And all those heart-based qualities of a good team will shine, like



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