"Collaboration should not be mistaken for consensus"

Nitin Prasad, managing director, Shell Lubricants, Shell India Markets, on five ways to build team spirit

Shared rational and emotional goals: The starting point is to have a clear vision and shared goals — both rational (financial returns, production) and emotional (pride, respect, trust, benefit to society). Openly celebrating successes as a team reinforces these shared goals.

Open communication: The key to team building is by creating an understanding of each other — right from preferred approaches to background. Greater understanding comes from creating an environment where there is freedom to share, agree or disagree.

Fair and principle-based decisions: You must articulate and operate within a core set of values. Limiting exceptions and subjective decisions increases transparency and limits positioning for incremental benefits.

Clear accountability, empowerment and collaboration: Each member must clearly understand their role and have the freedom to make their own decisions. Collaboration must be encouraged to deliver better solutions but should not be mistaken for consensus.

Have fun: A focused yet lighthearted environment allows teams to build strong bonds and break through tension.