Hello SOTGC community,
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. – Henry Ford
I’m often fascinated by what drives people, how we interact with one another and what we can accomplish when we put our minds together. I’ve learned a lot about how to be a good team member – sometimes because of things I did well and sometimes because of things I could have done better. The one thing that always remains consistent is my choice in how I am going to participate and to what extent. The truth is, we all have that choice. Our relationships with the people we work with are dependent on each person’s participation, but what makes YOU a solid team member?
You know those meetings and workshops where you get to choose teams? Ever wondered why the same people get picked first over and over? It’s because they know how to be on a team.
Here are 10 ways to be a good team member:
1. Be reliable. People want to work with people they can count on. That means showing up on time, following through and doing what you say you’re going to do. Who would you rather work with? The person who says, “I’ll type up the notes”or the person who tells you why they can’t?
Communicate. Participate! Be honest, but be respectful. Talk to others in a way that you would want others to speak to you. For example, let’s say you’re involved in a project and you see it’s moving in the wrong direction. Everything in your body is telling you there’s a better way and you know how to get there. Do you say,
- “I like what we are doing here, but I think there’s another way. I’d like to get your input. How about this…?”
- (Nothing. No one would be interested in what you have to say anyway.)
3. We vs. Me. Do you work collaboratively or competitively? There’s nothing wrong with a health dose of competition. Believe me. As soon as someone tells me I can’t do something, I hear a little voice in my head say, “Oh yeah?”But here’s the thing, working in a team is not about you. It’s about the desired overall outcome for the good of the team, project and/or company. Put your ego aside and I promise you, you’re rewards will pay off far beyond the completion of the project.
4. Roll Up Your Sleeves. So many times, we set parameters around what we are and aren’t willing to do. But you know who learns the most and wins the most in the long run? The people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. I remember working on a massive project for a company that involved a huge mass mailing. There we were after hours trying to meet a deadline and guess who was sitting on the floor stuffing envelopes? The CEO. Set an example and don’t be afraid to jump in and help where help is needed – especially if it’s outside of your job description. You never know who you’ll be sitting next to.
5. See the Big Picture. It’s more than just the project. Think of it as a way to be seen for your work ethic, talent and commitment by your peers and higher ups. It’s also a great way to “audition”for a bigger role, salary or bonus.
6. Be Committed. Start strong, stay strong and finish strong. Be consistent with your quality of work and level of participation. It’s a great way to set an example and create a collaborative environment.
7. Go the Extra Mile. You know what I mean. You’re tired. Everyone’s tired. It’s almost the end of the project and you notice something that needs to be done that will make this project exceed expectations. Do you…
- Volunteer the coworker who’s been annoying you since day one?
- Say nothing hoping nobody will notice?
- Put your feelings aside, recruit another team member and get it done together?
8. Be Accountable. If you mess up, own it. The world isn’t going to end and if you really messed up, it’s only a matter of time before everyone realizes it anyway. Isn’t it better to just deal with it up front than be known as the one who kept the team from succeeding?
9. Have a Willingness to Learn. We all have our strengths and they vary from person to person. That’s one of the great things about being a part of a team. But what if you were open to learning something new? You could expand your skills and almost always find another opportunity to use what you learned. Be open and willing to try something new. Worse case scenario, you’ll discover it’s really not your thing and now you’ll have proof.
10. Make a Friend. Ok, I don’t mean a buddy or a friend you’ll invite over for the holidays. But if you do, that’s great. What I mean is take time to get to know the people on your team. When you have a personal investment, you’ll find it’s easier to understand others when the challenges come up (and they always do) and you’ll be able to work though it together. I mean, really, what’s the point of being a part of a team if you can’t rely on each other?
Choose one of the ten tips to implement this week and share your results in the comments below. Want extra credit? Choose one that’s new or outside of your comfort zone. Can’t wait to celebrate your success!
Ready to build or jump into a team and help lead it to success? If you were inspired by this post please Tweet, Pin, or share on Facebook or Google+ and help spread the message.