Working in a new team: tips from the Suicide Squad (spoiler alert!)
Whether it’s for school, work, or a desperate attempt to shorten your prison sentence, teamwork is unavoidable. When done well, collaboration can inspire people to do great things and overcome insurmountable odds. However, teamwork comes with its own set of challenges, especially when you’re starting out with a new team. With the recent release of Suicide Squad, we’re looking at what attitudes and approaches help get a new team off to a strong start.
What’s that, you say? You haven’t seen Suicide Squad yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Go see it so we don’t spoil it for you! Go ahead. I’ll wait…
The Squad did some things right, and more than a few things wrong. Like any new team, it took some trial and error to find their rhythm and learn to succeed together. But if they can make it work, anyone can. Let’s take a closer look at what contributed to their (eventual) success as a new team.
What’s the plan?
If we learned anything from the Suicide Squad, it’s that an unclear plan means gambling on outcomes. Confusion can cause trouble for any project, but especially when working with a new team. Clear goals and objectives help to unify team members, avoiding doubt, confusion, and even distrust. Just look at the Suicide Squad, who went in blind and awkwardly stumbled their way through. Discuss your goals and how you plan to get there together. With everyone on the same page, there will be no surprises or wasted efforts.
Cheers to quality time
If you’re just starting out with a new team, take a little time to get to know each other outside of the office. Whether you’re a newbie in a pre-existing team, or the team itself is entirely new, spending time together away work can help you understand your coworkers on a personal level, making for better collaboration in the future. For the Suicide Squad, it wasn’t until their impromptu trip to a bar that they found common ground, allowing them to work together. Had the team done this earlier, they may have had much greater success earlier on – plus, Slipknot might still be around for the outcome. Get to know each other before the 11th hour for much smoother sailing.
Bring in the specialists
While your teammates may not throw fire or be part crocodile, every one of them brings a unique skill to the project. Establish what each member plans to contribute so that everyone is clear on their role. As the new person in a team, you don’t want to be overlapping work or seen to be stepping on anyone’s toes. Aim for seamless teamwork built on each member’s individual skills and abilities.
Use your words
Communication is key when working with your new team. For successful collaboration, group members need to be able to share their ideas, express their feelings, and listen to others. Everyone deserves an opportunity to contribute, and steamrolling your teammates isn’t cool. As we saw in the movie, unspoken doubts and concerns can also be destructive, causing people like Boomerang or Slipknot to attempt a daring (and unsuccessful) getaway mission. Avoid problems before they arise with good old-fashioned communication.
Encourage, don’t discourage
Encouragement is a great way to establish trust, help people feel comfortable, and allow them to explore in a safe place. Would Diablo have been the powerhouse he was had Deadshot not pushed him to overcome his fears and let his talents shine – or, rather, burn? Maybe, but maybe not. The Suicide Squad didn’t get very far on mockery, threats, and standoffs. Support each other and not even a 6313-year-old Enchantress can hold you back.
Trust your teammates
These people were chosen for a reason so trust that they have the skills and dedication to follow through. Colonel Flag spent the first hour of the movie expecting Deadshot to take off or turn on him. However, when the opportunity arose for him to do just that, Deadshot proved himself by standing alongside Flag. Give your teammates the benefit of the doubt and they’ll do the same for you.
Have each other’s backs
If you see one of your teammates getting overwhelmed with assignments or eyeball zombies, lend a hand. One day, you’ll be the one who’s cornered and will rely on your teammates to bail you out.
While I’m at it…
Lend a hand, man
Clearly, workload was not evenly divided in the Suicide Squad. Crock and Boomerang did almost nothing through most of their mission, while Flag, Deadshot and Harley Quinn did most of the heavy lifting. Not cool, guys, not cool. This can build resentment and break down the team. Spread the work out evenly so no one has to carry the brunt of the workload.
In high-stress situations, it’s natural for people to clash. But ridicule, threats and … well everything else the Squad did in the first 90 minutes of the movie, just doesn’t make for good teammates. Respect your colleagues, even when you disagree. When conflict arises, mutual respect is what allows the team to overcome small differences and reach for success.
You got all that?
Though the Suicide Squad struggled through some issues, they were ultimately able to find their groove and (SPOILER ALERT) reach their goals, effectively saving the world from the Enchantress and her CGI brother. It can take some time for a new team to get into a rhythm, but with the right attitudes and approaches, your new team can do just about anything. If you’re still unsure about your new team, just remember, you’re not saving the world or anything. So relax. If a ragtag group of misfit villains can work together, you and your team can too.