By Clarissa Nolde
Learning how to work with other people is a lifelong process. Many of us get our first lessons in teamwork in elementary school by participating in school plays, musicals, and sports teams. As a kid, I loved how everyone had a part to play, and everyone was able to shine in their own way. The best part of my job as a teacher is harnessing the collective enthusiasm of my band students through teamwork in order to create performances that can be shared with the community. These same principles of teamwork can be applied to any organization such as a school, a classroom, or a governmental organization. As I’ve attended meetings this year, I have observed firsthand how the current members of the Council use the following principles of teamwork in order to achieve their goals of governance.
The most important element of becoming a good team player is being a good listener. I believe that when we really listen to each other, we can work to find common ground and a path with which we can all feel comfortable traveling down. I have watched how at the Council meetings, everyone has an equal opportunity to be heard without interruption, including members of the public.
“Teamwork is everybody’s responsibility in a community. If elected, I look forward to practicing these principles of teamwork while preserving my own independent voice.”
Empathizing with others
In order to work together, we must also try to understand each other’s points of view. We all bring our own unique perspectives and experiences, so seeing things from another person’s point of view is essential in order to make decisions as a group. I have also observed this at the Town Council meetings. When members respond to a discussion point, they often begin by repeating part of what was previously said, so as to clarify and build upon their understanding of that matter before stating their own thoughts.
Crafting and Implementing the Plan
Once we listen and understand each other, in order to achieve our goals, we must craft and implement a plan which respects the viewpoints and perspectives of the group. I have also observed this in action at the Council meetings. For example, during a recent discussion about how to apply grant money for the Recreation Center, the original plan was discussed, members of the public asked questions, and the plan was then modified to reflect the input of both the public and members of the Council.
Teamwork is everybody’s responsibility in a community. If elected, I look forward to practicing these principles of teamwork while preserving my own independent voice.
Garwood Council Candidate