TEAMWORK the Secret to Thriving in the Workplace

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.
The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives.
It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
 – Andrew Carnegie

Each one of us, at some point in our lives, will have to work with a person or a group of people on an assignment to meet an objective or a common goal. This can be an assignment for a school project, a church event, or a collaborative project in the workplace. Did you know that being a team player is a key attribute for thriving and flourishing in the workplace? It is a strong interpersonal skill that must be acquired in order to achieve increased productivity, job promotions, and work recognition.

Teamwork is defined in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as, “work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.” 

I was introduced to teamwork at a very early stage in my career. The lessons that I have learned throughout the years have helped me to thrive and succeed in my work. As I continue to grow in the workplace, my goals and objectives are broader and on a larger scope. My vocabulary carries “we” and “our” more than “I” and “my” when communicating with others. I have shared knowledge, experiences, and ideas without any reservation. The experiences that I have encountered while working on projects, have become landmarks along my career path. When projects don’t go as well as I would have liked, I learn from the mistakes and move forward with no regrets or resentments. I enjoy each success to the fullest and celebrate with others when we receive recognition for an outstanding job. Here are a few tips to consider as you position yourself to thrive in the workplace:

1. Offer a tangible contribution. Success is dependent upon each team member’s ability to handle their assigned task on time and efficiently, while keeping in mind that it is a group effort that keeps any project on track. 

2. Communication is key, and involves consistently updating each other on the progress, and any issues or concerns.  Monitor your body language during interactions with teammates and be an active listener. Avoid gossip and be a peacemaker. 

3. Commit to the success of the project.It will define how your team functions. Oftentimes, plans will not go the way you designed and might need some intervention to put them back on track. Challenging times show character; you must rise up as a woman of God to assist in any way to help put things back on track.  

4. Share information, knowledge, and experience.  Be respectful of your team and encourage them to succeed. 

5. Be flexible and adaptable to ever-changing situations. There may be times when new ideas may be introduced that were not previously considered. Avoid complaints and keep the project on track.

6. Minimize conflicts with team members and set time aside to deal with differences in a godly manner. Obtaining your information from the source and not through third parties will minimize conflicts. When in doubt, go to the source.

7. Give credit to those who help you achieve your task. Be thankful for their help. 

8. Learn from your mistakes by reviewing shortfalls, and develop a plan of action for future improvement. 

9. Celebrate your achievements fully with your team members and give God all the praise.  

Teamwork is one of those life lessons that will bring about success in the workplace, in your life, and in ministry. God gives us the tools and empowers us to flourish and thrive in all we do, if we continually seek His guidance and wisdom. Bring that wisdom to the workplace and always remember: there is no “I” in teamwork!

Teamwork scriptures:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
 if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV)

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
(1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV)

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,
so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(Romans 15:5-6 NIV)

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

(1 Peter 4:10 NIV)

Enlarging Our Spiritual Gardens

One of the most rewarding times for a praying grandmother is to have a spiritual conversation with a grandchild. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in the midst of one of those conversations with my seventeen year old granddaughter, Devon. I asked Devon to close her eyes and tell me, “How does your spiritual garden grow?” After lengthy thought, her response was that her spiritual garden was filled with perfectly groomed hedges as far as she could see and they formed a maze in the center. Taken back by her answer, I began to share with her the visual picture of my spiritual garden…row after row of colorful wild and domestic flowers with square parcels of vegetable plants off to the right-hand side. The vegetable plants were heavy-laden with multicolored produce ready to be harvested. I became perplexed at the differences between our gardens; however, after careful thought I began enumerating the differences in our personalities and gifting – Devon is artistic, enthusiastic, structured, and playful, myself…very earthy, organized, and productive.

Our conversation continued by challenging one another to look to the furthest corners of our spiritual gardens and see if we could find any areas that were unkept and needed some tender loving care. Often in the past, while in my prayer closet, God had taken me to these areas and had shown me where my gardening tools were needed to remove the unwanted spiritual weeds – unforgiveness, fear, bitterness for example – that had overtaken an area. Experience has taught me that it’s easy to focus on the areas of our spiritual garden that we have already put the time and energy in to “clean-up”; yet conveniently ignore the “over-grown” areas. We need to ask ourselves, “What better time to have a conversation with God about those areas of spiritual woundedness,than when we are walking with Him in our spiritual garden?”  Hearing His heart coming through His Word:

“He heals the brokenhearted”(Psalms 147:3 NIV).

“…the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort…”(2 Corinthians 1:3 NIV).

“The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer…”Psalms 18:2 (NIV).

“who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from

the pit and crowns you with love and compassion”(Psalms 103:3-4 NIV).

Doing the work within our spiritual garden on a daily basis leads to enlargement!  We are quick to ask for enlargement in the physical realm; yet, desiring a thriving, flourishing, robust growth in the spiritual realm is often overlooked. There needs to be balance in our lives – body, soul, and spirit – to grow in the physical, we need to also grow in the spiritual. The soil in our enlargement plot needs to be cultivated with our spiritual hoe, prayer and God’s Word, to break up the dry ground and to loosen the roots of the spiritual weeds that need to be removed. At this point, fertilizer which is God’s Wisdom and Truth is mixed into the ground to enrich the soil promoting thriving, healthy plants. Lastly, the Living Water, Jesus Christ, is sprinkled onto the soil to carry God’s richest benefits deep below the surface so that the new plants can flourish and produce fruit.

The conversation that day ended with a renewed awareness, for both grandmother and granddaughter, of the work that is required from us when we ask God for enlargement in our lives. 1 Chronicles 4:10 contains Jabez’s simple prayer for enlargement,“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request” (NIV).

Now allow me to share a balanced prayer for enlargement – body, soul, and spirit – that the Lord showed me to pray for my family many years ago.

Father, bless us, bless us indeed! Enlarge our territories and our boundaries, our opportunities and our responsibilities, our relationships and our finances. But keep Your hand of protection upon us, Lord, your grace and mercy ever be present in our lives, Your favor going before us in all that we shall do. That You will guard and keep us from the enemy, and that we will not place our hand into iniquity. For Father, we would never want to grieve You, Lord, we would never want to grieve ourselves, and we would never want to grieve, harm, or hurt another.

It’s in Jesus’ Name that we pray. Amen


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