We hear so much about teamwork. Teamwork helps to accomplish more in less time due to the collective brain power of the group devoted to solving particular problems or developing effective strategies to accomplish certain tasks. But teamwork is not the exclusive domain of the executives gathered around the boardroom table.

Families can apply the same rules to accomplish goals, whether that is to raise responsible children or plan an extended vacation. Family teamwork enhances creativity and stimulates the imagination. It’s what makes for successful sports teams, builds foundations for business and creates a happy family environment.

Today’s hectic pace doesn’t always allow family members to get together to achieve common goals. Teamwork is lacking in many families. There is no cohesiveness. Children grow with the idea of leaving what they perceive to be a stifling environment, whether true or not, to strike out on their own. They end up making the same mistakes their parents did as they go through life. The family that stays together benefits everyone who participates in it. The richest families are those who have learned the value of staying together and working in a team environment. While teamwork is not easy to do, there are some methods that can be applied to insure that all participants in the family can work toward the same goals.

Specify Objectives Within the Family

As in corporations, if the goals are not clearly set, no one will be able to make a start. There has to be something all the family members can identify with. Many families have no idea of where they should be headed. From the parents down to the children, life is a haphazard affair with no cohesiveness as can be found through setting goals.

Hold Productive Meetings With Family Members

That occurs frequently in the corporate environment where every team member’s work is assessed in relevance to the goal. As families grow they tend to separate as children eventually go their own way while mom and dad plan for retirement. But a strong family stays mostly together even if the children are fully grown with families of their own. If the goals meet the needs and wants of all members, everyone will want to sit down to discuss family strategy.

Family Meeting

The Personal Touch

Businesses thrive based on how well management and employees communicate with one another. Everyone has different skills and talents and want those skills recognized and appreciated when they are used. That’s no different within the family. How often do parents praise their children? How often do they listen to what their children say without dismissing them outright? The personal touch means being open to suggestion, so necessary for the kids to recognize that they are a part of the family and not just a necessary evil.

Reward Kids’ Good Behavior

In the corporate environment, rewards are used to motivate team members to maintain and improve productivity. In the family, children love to be rewarded, no matter how small their contribution may seem to their parents. Rewards develop discipline and inspire them to do more and better.

Delegating Responsibility Among Children

As children grow, so should their responsibility. The best families are those who grow and change to meet the needs of all the members. In the early years of life, children want to be active participants. As they grow into teenagers, too often they become rebellious. But this would seldom happen if they were entrusted with responsibility from an early age as they learn what is expected of them.

Establishing Structure

The team structure within the family is different than that of a corporation. In the family, the structure changes. In the early years of life, parents take on most of the duties to keep the family united and under a peaceful environment while the children grow. As the children grow they assume more responsibilities until they assume the leadership roles within their own families. As their parents age, they take on the responsibility of caring for their ailing parents. They must then take on full responsibility.

It is said that the strength of nations depends on the strength of the families that make up the foundation and how they work together to produce wealth and insure national stability.

Working in a family team environment can insure a better life for all members and weather the worst economic storms that too often leave many destitute as they have no foundation to fall back on.