Before, I wrote a three part series on “Teamwork“. This post is in that same vein. The following are things that I have learned as I have moved into different roles but continued to work in team setting.
Three aspects to team relationship that needs to be understood for a proper relationship to form:
- Friendship: this is doing things together as equals. For example: going out for coffee or doing something fun together. This has to be worked on by both sides because it means investing time! If one side doesn’t have any time to invest then this will not develop.
- Authority: this is one leading something and the other serving in it. For example: one leading the men’s ministry and the other serving in it. This means one needs to humbly lead and the other needs to respectfully submit.
- Influence: this is one having more experience in a specific area than the other and giving advice based on it. For example: living on the field longer than the other. This requires the one to not be a know-it-all and the other to be a leaner at all times.
Each of these areas are part of missionary relationships on the field. To accomplish all three in harmony is hard. Some come naturally and others don’t. So it is good to remember the following:
- Don’t Judge – you are in this thing together and for the same purpose. You can talk about differences of opinions and go against advice but you don’t need to judge each other or think bad of the other because of it. No one is right all of the time. Some need to learn the hard way.
- Show grace – the other person is constantly going to be doing things or saying things that cause you to think “they don’t deserve for me to be nice to them” and when this happens it is the perfect time to be nice and show grace.
- Control Attitudes – don’t let your attitude control you but control your attitude. This is easer said than done, but cultural shock will put your attitude on an emotional rollercoaster and we need to be able to face the downward spiral with confidence.
- Reject Selfishness – most problems stem from selfishness and pride. You think about ourselves and what is best for you, showing pity for yourself and not thinking about others. Reject this.
- Don’t Compare – everyone’s situation, schedule, kids, parenting styles, housing situations, schooling, maids, areas of hardship, background, learning speed and cultural adjustment is different. Don’t compare yourself among yourselves or you are setting yourself up to fail.
- Pray Daily – pray for the other person you are developing a relationship with daily. It is hard to harbor hard feelings against them when you take them by name before the Lord in prayer. You need God’s help.
- Admit Faults – no one is perfect and a fractured relationship means there are faults on both sides, thus be the one to admit faults and choose to love.
If you can recognize these three aspects of team relationship exists and remember the above advice then I think you can work towards a proper team relationship.