Created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man quickly became one of the world’s most recognisable superheroes. Dealing with everyday problems including loneliness and grief, Peter Parker has inspired countless television shows, video games, books, and films.
Although we don’t live in a world filled with superpowers and wicked villains, Spider-Man’s grounded approach to saving New York can teach us a lot about kindness and accountability.
And since there are more iterations of the web-slinging hero than ever before thanks to the release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, there is also plenty the hero can teach you about working as a team.
1. Take responsibility
“With great power, there must also come great responsibility.”
Arguably the most famous quote in comic history, one of the last things Ben Parker says to his nephew becomes the moral compass Spider-Man uses to guide his actions.
When he first gets his powers, Peter uses them for his own personal gain. But after his refusal to stop a thief results in his uncle’s death, he learns to use his abilities to help other people.
Understanding that everyone makes mistakes and being brave enough to bear responsibility is a key part of working in a team. Taking accountability allows the problem to be solved faster so the damage is limited, and you also ensure that no one else suffers any consequences for your blunder.
2. Communicate clearly and often
Staying in touch with your colleagues is a vital part of teamwork. Clear communication prevents misunderstandings and allows everyone to stay on top of their workload, which can lessen stress and ensures that everyone is pulling their weight.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, communication issues cause huge problems for Peter. He accidentally interferes in an arms deal that Iron Man has already alerted the FBI about, which ends in the destruction of a ferry with hundreds of passengers on board.
If the two heroes had communicated their plans to each other, the disaster could have been avoided. So, make sure to have weekly or daily check-ins with the other people on your team so that everyone is on the same page.
3. Be friendly to your neighbours
Peter Parker’s “friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man” approach sets him apart from other superheroes. Rather than regularly saving the world like Captain America or Thor, he helps the people of Queens with petty crimes which the police wouldn’t have been able to stop.
Ensuring that you are always kind and understanding to the people around you will foster trusting relationships, meaning they are more likely to come to you with any problems they face. It will also reduce the likelihood of conflict and create a fulfilling work environment for everyone.
4. Be resilient
Spider-Man may face fantastical challenges that we will never have to deal with, but we can still adopt his sense of optimism and persistence.
In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales has to learn how to stand up for himself as a new hero as he encounters other, more experienced versions of Spider-Man. Although they try to discourage him and insist he isn’t good enough to help, he is steadfast in his desire to do the right thing and triumphs in the end.
Whether you are fighting a supervillain or standing up for another member of your team, remember to always do what you believe is right, and never be afraid to take a leap of faith.
5. Remember, you’re stronger together
Spider-Man was originally designed to act as a sidekick to the other Marvel superheroes in New York. But since the publication of his own comic run detailing his origin story and his subsequent rise to fame, he has worked on many different superhero teams over the years.
Alone, Spider-Man can protect the residents of Queens from thieves and criminals. But when he works with other heroes with abilities that complement his own, they can save the world or, in the case of the new movie, all the universes.
Whether you are working with the Avengers, a society of different universes’ versions of you, or just a handful of people in your office, remember that you are always capable of achieving more when you work together as a team.
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