Teamwork. We’ve learned about it since kindergarten with that giant colored parachute (two minutes in. Thanks, Barney.) Ever since I was younger I’ve been on sports teams that encouraged working together to come out on top. But, if you’re like me, when it came to high school and college group projects, I was sometimes willing to throw my hands in the air some days and do it myself, writing my partners’ names on the projects and calling it a day.

I quickly learned that in the real world this can’t usually happen, especially in agency life. Am I supposed to work with the client on media relations for a new product, design a brochure, write a white paper, create a website and then develop a social strategy by myself? Absolutely not. That is why it’s just as important to maintain and grow relationships internally as it is with your clients.

Know Your Client, and Make Sure Everyone Else Does, Too
Account Service is the main valve to the heart of the client in terms of communication, but it’s imperative for everyone else who touches various projects to understand them, as well. What do they like? What words do they not like to use? Who are their competitors? Have a kick-off meeting to make sure everyone is aware and on the same page. When everyone encompasses this knowledge it makes the process a heck of a lot easier.

Ideas Can Come From Anywhere
When the client comes to Account Service and needs some ideas, try and get everyone involved. Some of the best ideas have come from the AKHIA conference room with everyone bouncing and (loudly) shouting ideas at each other. Inspiration can come from unlikely places, so don’t discount someone from the Content or Social department when the client simply asked for ideas on a designed piece.

Use Your Interns
Obviously I’m being biased, but our interns pretty much rock. They’re here to learn, and teams need to put their trust in them and—just like any other job—teach them through their mistakes. Many of us here at AKHIA (myself included) originally started as an intern or in a contracted position. When you’re assigning and placing trust, it helps them grow. It also helps you with your mentoring skills, not to mention workload.

You’re Not Always Right
Trust me, you’re not. You could be set on not sharing a concept or idea with the client because you KNOW them. It’s too out-of-the-box. It’s too modern. It’s not exactly what they asked for. But if you don’t show them, they’ll never have the chance to tell you these things. Just because they didn’t think of it doesn’t mean they won’t want it. Have you ever walked into a store set on purchasing something and left with something completely unexpected, feeling just as happy? Give other teams in the agency the opportunity to showcase their unexpected, and you can come out delightfully surprising not only the clients, but the whole agency.

What do you think is important to maintain teamwork in the office?