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Improving Teamwork
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Navy Customer Service Manual
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Recognizing Ability
all  team  members)  affect  each  team  member performer assumes that the supervisor considers the job individually? to be of little value. As the supervisor or other senior member of a team, you exert the greatest amount of influence on that team. As the leader, not only are you the one who sets the example for the rest of the team, you are the one who creates either a positive or a negative atmosphere. Refer to Case No. 3. LPO Brush provided a negative atmos- phere through two poor work habits. First, he used profanity   and   allowed   other   members   to   use   it. Second,  he  measured  office  effectiveness  by  empty baskets  rather  than  by  the  quality  of  response  to customer  needs. A contact point representative may read chapter 3 of this book carefully and fully intend to implement its “do  this”  and  “don’t  do  that”  advice.  However,  the extent to which the representative may apply that advice depends  largely  on  the  contact  point  atmosphere.  You must take the lead in developing and reinforcing an atmosphere  that  improves  teamwork. Each   team   develops   its   own   standards   for performance  and  behavior.  These  standards  are  a composite of the standards of all of its members, which must  be  acceptable  by  the  contact  point  supervisor.  The team  then  exerts  its  influence  on  each  member  to conform  to  those  standards.  New  members  being indoctrinated in their duties are aware of the attitude of the  team  toward  those  standards.  As  they  develop  their job skills, they will likely develop and accept a similar attitude. Setting a good example is the best possible method of  creating  a  positive  atmosphere.  When  team  members see that you have a positive attitude toward work, they will follow your example. As new members develop their work habits, they will look not only at the example you set, but at the example set by other team members. ENCOURAGING  THE  ACCEPTANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY Chapter 1 stated that there are no unimportant jobs when   you   are   performing   a   personal   service   or supplying a personal need. You can carry this statement a step further— there are no unimportant jobs.  The output from a particular job may have doubtful value, but the performance of that job is important to the performer. The performer must be able to see some worth in the job to maintain a sense of personal worth. If convinced that the job has no purpose or value, the At times, a person’s ability far exceeds the ability required  to  perform  an  assigned  job.  When  you  make such assignments, explain the reason for the assignment and the value of the job. That will help confirm the person’s sense of personal worth and, thus, improve teamwork. The following are examples of explanations you might use: This job isn’t as challenging as other jobs that you have  had  in  the  past  but,  it  is  certainly  as important. To make this point, it is part of our training rotation. I know that you will do well. This work must be kept on schedule; I trust you will do that in my absence. You’ll  be  starting  your  new  assignment  next week. In the meantime. . . You may stimulate the initiative of a new member by using the job assignment itself. Let the member know that this is the first in a series of assignments that will increase in responsibility with each job change. You may stimulate the initiative of a new member by using job assignments as the first in a series of increases  in  responsibility.  The  Navy’s  most  valuable asset—people—is  wasted  when  they  are  told  to  “look” busy. Supervisors who instruct their people to look busy demonstrate their own lack of initiative (poor planning) and destroy initiative in team members. Supervision  can  stimulate  a  team  to  better performance, or it can smother any initiative. Suppose a supervisor asks,  “Can’t you people do anything on your  own?”  Then  the  supervisor  constantly  looks  over the workers’ shoulders and criticizes their work. The supervisor’s action has answered the question: No, the members can’t do anything on their own; the supervisor won’t let them. You must keep the lines of communication open. Though you must encourage members to work on their own, you must assure them that they can come to you for answers when the need arises. Your response may vary, depending upon the need and the person, but it should not lead the member to an endless, aimless search. You  can  take  three  steps  to  encourage  team members  to  assume  responsibility: 1. Recognize their ability. 2. Set goals for them. 4-6

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