Work very well with other people on teams

Today I took the first dose of vaccination. Think about it for a second and appreciate how amazing it is for teamwork behind the scene to make this happens.

Firstly, there is a group of scientists who dedicate their lives to research in the field. In the past, a stereotype of a scientist is like a lonely person who works by himself or herself. In reality, that is not how science works, as it requires teamwork to solve the complex challenge we see in the world today. It takes many years of accumulation of knowledge with many geniuses in chemistry, biology, computer scientists to contribute to the foundation of modern science. We are fortunate that researchers spend years in this important area in mRNA, virology and medicine.

Secondly, it is a teamwork of different groups of people to put research results into mass production. There are infrastructures, large amounts of capital and delivery costs with millions of dollars risks if anything goes wrong. It is a challenging engineering problem to solve together with government officials and political lobbying to manufacture the volume to meet the high demand.

Thirdly, thanks to the frontline healthcare industry staff who work day and night, with a tremendous amount of pressure and workload. Surprisingly, the nurse who injects my jab was so nice and keeping a warm smile on her face, greeting me and explaining patiently with potential side effect symptoms. That one second of painless injection of the vaccine in my body is the result of the amazing teamwork of people.

Even more amazingly, I am enjoying this shot for free. Nothing I could complain about with such a fortunate to take advantage of modern society. It is luck more than anything else that I am still surviving, thanks to good policy and control of this pandemic in the area I am living. There are millions of people who die from covid 19 and it is no joke to make for this serious pandemic. I appreciate the chance that I got the shot for today.

Do not take this fortunate for granted. When there is a chance for me to give back, I should. I could contribute to society by working very well with other people on teams. We all contribute to the culture we live in today. It all starts with having the right people and unleashing them to tackle some of the biggest challenges. We could build a winning team with high performance to make it right.

Some company culture is toxic, with environment inhibit innovation and teamwork. It is very hard to change a culture and it leads to a decline in productivity. I should stay away from these kinds of negative behaviour. Instead, I align and connect for teamwork. Do not hire smart people to tell them what to do, instead, hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.

Engineers who socialise and connected with others and helped others with their projects not only earned the respect and trust of their peers but were also more productive themselves. I can help people build social connections by sponsoring lunches, after-work parties, and team-building activities. It may sound like forced fun, but when people care about one another, they perform better because they don’t want to let their teammates down. Adding a moderate challenge to the mix will speed up the social-bonding process.

I do not need to be the smartest person in the room. And if I am, I would invite smarter people or find a different room. In professional circles, it is called networking. In organisations, it is called team building. And in life, it is called family, friends and community. We are all gifts to each other, and my growth as a leader has shown me again and again that the most rewarding experiences come from my relationships.

And to build relationships requires communication skills. Successful leaders write well, they read carefully and they can get up in front of a group and speak. They pay attention in meetings and are constantly testing the limits of their knowledge and the knowledge of the team.

Now is a great time to practice my writing and speaking skills. I am writing a book and get feedback on it from better writers. Write blog posts for my tech and personal blog. Speak in team meetings, speak at meetups, and get practice standing up in front of an audience.

Also do not forget to listen during all of this communication. Give others a chance to speak and hear what they say. Practice repeating things back to people to ensure I understand them. Learn how to hear what someone says and rephrase it in my own words. I need to become a good note-taker. It does not matter whether I choose to dive deep into technology or become a manager. If I could not communicate and listen to what other people are saying, my career growth from this point on will suffer.

One of my biggest challenges at work is a soft skill, soft power. No everyone reports to me, I cannot tell people what to do. Instead, I need to earn people’s trust, and a great way to do that is to look at my work as team sports and not departments working in silos. If other people know I listened to and acted upon their input, they will feel included in the decision-making process and happier with my decisions.

With the lockdown, I am looking at the screens all day. I am working remotely from home and social distancing, the feelings of isolation can be acute. Online networking can reduce feelings of loneliness by connecting with other humans. This boosted productivity and we work well with teams.

Sometimes, I can gratefully offer an outstretched helping hand. This is something with a two-fold meaning. It is an injunction, first, to note the reality of the limitation of human beings, and, second, to be thankful and support others, family, friends, acquaintances and strangers alike. There is too much to be done and too little time in which to do it. But we do not have to strive alone, and there is nothing but good in cooperating in the efforts, and sharing credit for productive and meaningful work thereby undertaken.

By Victor Leung

Experience in software development, consulting services and technical product management. Understanding of business and technology with an MBA in Finance and a Master degree in Computer Science. AWS Certified Solution Architect with experience in building products from scratch and serving as a charismatic leader.

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