Recently, I was kayaking in a creek and we hit shallow water in a double kayak. My teammate and I got stuck. Our leader said to get out of the kayak and pull the kayak out of the shallow area. It looked sandy shallow and I decided to get out of the kayak. My teammate stayed in the kayak. As soon as I got out of the kayak, my leg sunk into the sandy muddy water. I freaked thinking what if it is quicksand!
I worked out how to quickly walk so I didn’t sink into the mud. My teammate asked if she should come out of the kayak to help me, I was determined and I told her to stay in the kayak. I was scared inside but I didn’t want her to take the risk of sinking in the mud with me as well.
I moved as quickly as I could through the muddy water as well as pull the kayak out to the deeper waters. Then I quickly jumped back into the kayak without flipping the kayak.
And we kept moving forward. The leader watched us come out of the shallow waters and he gave us a small applause. But let me tell you, my fear factor was 11/10!
What did I learn from this?
When things get tough, it gives you the opportunity to grow and possibly become a better version of yourself. It was so important that we worked together as a team, my teammate gave me support and confidence in moving us through that moment.
It was an unpleasant experience but when I look back on the whole day, it was an experience that fully challenged me, to think on my feet and make decisions that are best for the team. I finished the whole day of kayaking but if it weren’t for my teammate, I would have decided to end it at 4.00pm instead of 4.30pm.
When it comes to teamwork, how are you contributing to the team?
A time to reflect and think about how you are supporting your teammates and or how can you better support your team?
I work on my own most days and kayaking all day really made me think about how important teamwork is when you are trying to work on something together.
Some ideas for you:
- Discover more about your colleagues work, what aspects of their job do they enjoy, what do they dislike?
- Ask about what you can do to help them?
- In one of the recent Inspire Me events, we learnt from an HR Manager the concept of S.S.C.C. Have conversations with people on what 3 things I should Start doing, 3 things I should Stop doing, 3 things I should Change and 3 things I should Continue to do.
- Take the time to SAY thank you. E.g. “Thanks for sending the email to the group.”
- Take the time to acknowledge someone’s work e.g. “I heard you on the phone with that client, well done, it was well said.”
- Pick up someone else’s phone call and take a message. (One of my associates did this and it was a reference call conducted on me and she spoke so highly of me, I won the new project).
It is the little things that you do every day on a consistent basis that makes you a good team player. And when the next job opportunity that comes up, you never know, it could be your work colleague that is recommending you to someone they know.
Wishing you a wonderful July, my personal message to you all is to:
“SLOW DOWN, stay warm and take care of your wellbeing. Make more time for you.”