Building Teamwork

Successful supervisors build teamwork

  • Stress team effort when you communicate. Use the word “we” frequently.
  • Make an effort to reward people who do more than you ask of them.
  • Set practical and realistic goals for your people; discuss the goals, making sure they understand and accept them.
  • Praise maximally and criticize minimally; never embarrass a person in front of others.
  • Supervise by persuasion rather than by force or pressure.
  • Help people when they need it; respond to their desires and needs.
  • Be honest about problems and issues; show that you have people’s interests at heart.
  • Give people a chance to express their opinions; let them participate in problem solving and decision-making.
  • Sponsor and promote training and development programs.
  • Demonstrate by what you say and do that you consider loyalty and integrity to be important virtues.

The importance of ­talking positively about peers
Don’t get ahead by tearing someone else down.

People who always speak positively or complimentarily about other people find it easy to get along well with company people. The temptation to criticize or blame someone at your level to promote yourself is often hard to resist, but you’re better off if you absolutely avoid it. People on the job don’t get ahead by tearing someone else down.

People are different, have different viewpoints, and different standards.

Disparaging remarks about a person’s dress, manner, or behavior gain nothing and only make you appear biased and prejudiced. People are different, have different viewpoints, and different standards. Simply because you see things differently is no reason for you to condemn or ridicule people who look and act differently than you.

Saying a good word for another person when you have the opportunity shows that you recognize the capabilities and attitudes of other people, that you are not self-centered, and that you give credit when it is due. You’ll find that it also gains you cooperation from the person you compliment.

Guaranteed ways to gain the cooperation of your peers
Any supervisor who attempts to run a department without working with other supervisors is likely to get in trouble. Teamwork is necessary to solve today’s personnel and labor problems, keep up with technology, and control costs. All these things must be properly managed if a company is to be profitable and grow.

Effective teamwork in the department and among other departments of the company requires good communication among supervisors and a willingness to cooperate in working toward goals. You can help to develop cooperation with your peers by improving your communication and by adopting a spirit of understanding. Here are ways of doing this:

  • Consider how your actions affect other departments. Make decisions that will benefit rather than hinder them.
  • Recognize that other supervisors have goals to meet and commitments to honor, and realize they have problems just as you do. Treat them as partners rather than opponents. Offer to help whenever you have an opportunity.
  • Do everything you can to eliminate friction between your people and other supervisors’ people. Promote friendly relations and compromise, if necessary, on differences in order to achieve compatibility.
  • Explain and give reasons when you ask another supervisor to do something for you. Point out the benefits of going along with your request.
  • Distinguish the difference between cooperation and interference when it comes to the performance and behavior of other supervisors’ people. Try to always deal with supervisors rather than their people when you want help.

J.D. McHenry, president of Global Jet Services, has been involved in numerous aviation maintenance and flight operation programs for more than 31 years. His background includes aircraft manufacturer, corporate flight operations, FAR 91 and 135 operations, aircraft management, repair stations, and fixed base operations. He holds A&P, IA, and Doctorate of Business Management. For more information on Global Jet Services, visit

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