Being a good partner (be it at school or at work) allows you to better cope with your day to day.
There is a crucial concept when it comes to understanding why some human groups achieve their goals.
Whether we are talking about groups in school, at work or in other activities (such as sports teams), one of the keys for the community to remain cohesive and thus achieve its goals is companionship.
Definition of companionship
The fellowship is the link established between peers. Companions are individuals who form some type of group or community and who pursue a purpose or objective.
Let’s take several examples to better understand the concept of camaraderie: “It is essential to foster camaraderie among basketball team members if we want to go far this season” , “The camaraderie of this small company is the key to its success in product development “ , ” The national team won the trophy thanks to the camaraderie and altruism of midfielders and defenders “ , ” The teachers have perceived that in some classes there is not a good camaraderie among the students . “
One of the keys to harmony in a group of people
The concept of companionship is often used to define good communication, harmony and cohesion between colleagues.
This means that, unfortunately, not all peer relationships are in good health. Some human groups only make sense by attending to a final dimension : the fact of sharing an objective, business for example, which forces the coordination of efforts among several people. On other occasions, for example in some class groups, students share physical space, but they do not develop the communication or affection necessary to create a climate that we could describe as camaraderie.
The case of schools: companionship, in question
In schools and institutes there are groups, and perhaps these types of communities are the ones that best allow us to explore the concept of companionship and its many nuances. If a course is made up of 30 students, we can say that all of them are classmates. However, companionship does not lie in the fact of sharing a space, but refers to the ability of students to help each other, showing altruistic and cooperative attitudes among them.
For example, we can observe companionship when a student lends a utensil (a pen, a compass …) to a partner, when it is a situation that occurs spontaneously. Obviously, there are also contrary cases, in which companionship is conspicuous by its absence. The extreme scenario that refers us to a situation of no companionship is bullying : when a part of the group of students harasses, insults and mistreats a student.
Companionship in companies: a value in the doldrums?
In business organizations, many managers have realized the importance of fostering camaraderie among employees with the aim of laying the necessary foundations to achieve economic objectives. The cohesion between the members of the different work groups allows each of them to perform more and better, developing better capacities that allow the necessary synergy so that the result of the group action is optimal.
In fact, a long time ago we published an article where we talked about teamwork. You can check it:
“The 5 benefits of teamwork”
Teams whose members share ethical standards, values and objectives are those with the best chance of succeeding. Companionship, however, not only results in an improvement in productivity, but also makes the daily life of work more pleasant and is one of the essential requirements for establishing a climate of trust and camaraderie.
How to improve companionship in the work environment?
Two of the best factors that help to establish bonds of group cohesion in the work environment are well-being and solidarity between colleagues.
We propose some essential points to carry out a fruitful work environment:
1. Communication with all members
It is important that team members communicate and establish relationships with as many colleagues as possible (preferably with all of them). Knowing each other well and knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each member, as well as their needs and pace of work. Knowing others is also the best way to know what each member can contribute to the team.
2. Open mind
In groups of many people, it is common for individuals of different cultural and religious origin to coexist, and even with a diversity of sexual orientations and divergent personalities. When the bases are not generated so that people can understand each other despite their differences, the work dynamics can suffer seriously.
3. Friendliness and trust
Veteran members should welcome new members of the group in a courteous and caring manner, avoiding joking and making newcomers feel uncomfortable or out of place. In addition, they must take the responsibility to teach as much as possible to the new ones so that they adapt easily and that their stay with the company is a positive and uplifting experience.
4. Criticism must be constructive
Judging others must be avoided at all costs. The criticisms must be made with a conciliatory spirit and in a constructive way, reflecting on how it can help to optimize the work process in each of its phases, and taking into account the efforts of the members to be measured and fair at the time of point out problems or errors. Try not to hurt susceptibilities, looking for words and contexts in which criticism is well received, and emphasizing the positive and the change that can be implemented.
5. Be open to criticism in order to improve
Accepting criticism is knowing how to prioritize the good progress of the group over personal ego. When we listen to constructive criticism and try to reflect on its content, the most normal thing is that we realize some things that go wrong and therefore we end up becoming more prepared and effective professionals.
Reflecting on companionship
Companionship within companies can make a big difference in terms of productivity. When a group of individuals who work together learn to respect and treat each other with the firm will to improve as professionals and as people, there will be enormous chances that they will achieve their goals, since the extra that brings motivation and cohesion to the product end is more than remarkable.
However, when the work environment is tense and there is no pleasant atmosphere in the workplace, the routine becomes monotonous and personal effort ceases to have a meaning beyond mere “fulfilling the obligation”. This has a very negative effect on productivity. A team without companionship is a poorly motivated team and, ultimately, dysfunctional. In especially hostile work environments, cases of mobbing can even appear.
The ultimate sense of companionship is the welfare of the group over individual whims. Trying to achieve a cohesion of all members allows all individuals to grow and feel happier in their workplace ; something essential to be happy with our life in general.
Buchloz and Roth. (1992). How to create a High Performance Team in your Company. Editorial Atlántida, Buenos Aires.
Maddux, R. (2000). How to form a Work Team: Leadership in action.