Every orchestra has a conductor, someone who, with a gentle wave of a baton, leads the group of musicians, indicating when they should play their instrument, and at what volume and beat. By simply turning, facing the audience and bowing, they even indicate to the audience that they should be applauding! My knowledge of music may be minimal, but my admiration of an orchestra is enormous. How incredible for one group to apparently so seamlessly play together in unison. It does not happen overnight. They will have practised for many hours, individually and as a team.
It is exactly the same in the workplace. You need to practise your instrument quietly on your own, and then when you are good enough, you get the opportunity to play in a group. Some will play brass instruments, others string. We are all so unique with varying talents, but together we make a team. To be able to appreciate the differences in a team is not always so easy. If we all played the same instrument, life would be boring. It is the differences in the team that make it competitive.
Think carefully about your own distinctive signature tune:
- What is your competitive edge?
- Are you using it to full advantage for yourself and your team?
- Most importantly, are you making every effort to ensure that you too, with the rest of your colleagues, sing the same song as one?
It is easy to blame others when situations in the workplace aren’t going well, but perhaps the solution starts with you. Do one thing differently, or better, and others will too. Start the chain reaction of elevating the level of professionalism in the team. Try to develop a better understanding of those who are different. A more tolerant team is a more cohesive team. Don’t forget to have fun together along the way, celebrate your differences and each person’s successes. Support them in failure and be proud to be part of your team.
If you want to see a supreme conductor in action, book for the Wynberg Rotary’s fundraiser, Last Night of the Proms, in aid of the Volunteer Wildfire Services. The legendary Richard Cock will conduct massed choirs and the Cape Town Proms Orchestra on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March at the City Hall with the theme Going for Gold. Win fabulous prizes when purchasing a programme – vouchers from Peter Gilder Jewellery, Kurland Hotel, Steenberg Golf Club and Gold Restaurant. Get your ticket at Computicket (www.computicket.com).