If we want to be the best team member,
how would you define team?
- A group working collaboratively to achieve a common goal?
- A group of people working together and it’s crucial to business success that they cooperate?
- People using their individual skills and providing constructive feedback to achieve a desired group outcome?
Team dynamics and behaviours of group members are affected by roles, responsibilities and the purpose of the team. Our team dynamic will therefore have a direct impact on results, productivity and successful outcomes (or not).
I would identify the role of a team member to:
- Belong and identify with the group
- Work to achieve a common goal and understanding
- Work closely with others to achieve shared success through mutual responsibility.
Modern and self managed teams will work to lead outcomes where a consensus is absent. Collaborative teams will take mutual responsibility in the absence of defined leadership.
So to be the BEST team member. My top 7 tips:
1. Do we even need to be a team?
First think, do we need to be a team? Do we have a common goal? What is our purpose? Are we the right group of people? Am I right for this group of people or the purpose of the team?
2. Know yourself
In my experience most teams fail through individual insecurities, lack of emotional intelligence and poor communication.
Most of us would like to think we’re self aware. Why not check how self aware you are by soliciting feedback, not from friends or relatives who are sometimes too kind or over critical, but by people you’ve worked with, and those you know will be honest, objective and constructive. Put some time aside to think about environments you’ve had success, felt a buzz for what you were doing and felt a sense of achievement. What was it about that team? What was your contribution?
The best team members know their strengths, weaknesses, their communication and decision-making style, and the impact they have on others. They also know how to adapt their style to get the best out of relationships. Check this out to find out how you can do that.
3. Share yourself
We all have vulnerabilities. Share these. Take the lead in telling your colleagues the things you do well and the areas you need support. Take the lead in making your strengths clear to the team. But no one can do everything in a team and it’s unreasonable to put pressure on ourselves by accepting responsibility for the things we’ve not experienced or aren’t skilled in.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength not weakness. There’s sure to be someone in your team who’ll need your help at some point in the future.
4. Challenge Behaviours
Take responsibility. Be clear in your approach. Challenge behaviours that go against the common purpose or goal. Make sure that you have agreed roles, ways of working, responsibilities, etc. before the project starts. Challenge appropriately when things go off track.
5. Challenge Values
Again take responsibility. Challenge behaviours that go against the values of the team. Clarify values at the start of a project. If you’re recruiting someone into the team be clear on your values from the outset. Recruiting to your organisation – use values within the recruitment process and select using behavioural interviewing.
Before joining an organisation or a team check out the values. Do they match yours? Can you live those values? I believe people leave organisations not necessarily because the don’t like the work but because they feel like a square peg in a round hole through managers, leaders or colleagues they can’t connect with. Do your homework and go with your gut – the gut never lies!
We found that half of millennials would choose purposeful work over a high salary. Two thirds – a significant proportion of the next generation talent pool – want to work for a company that makes a difference to the world. Source Global Tolerance.
Our values do matter. They shape what we do, how we do it, our motivation and what attracts us to organisations and keeps us there.
6. Be Accountable
Do as you say you’ll do. Deliver! Deliver! Deliver! Being accountable isn’t just about delivery though – it’s about admitting when things aren’t going to plan too. It’s about taking responsibility for outcomes. Be accountable for the whole not just your part. Whether you’re in an organisation or part of a project be committed to the whole and hold others to account too. Help them be the best they can be. Many teams I work with are struggling because they only feel accountable for what they see as their direct responsibility. Senior leadership teams tend to struggle when they see the departmental team as their main priority rather than the peer group that directs the business. Is your accountability focus in the right place?
7. Share Results
Share best practice with other teams – the power of knowledge is best shared to make the team stronger. Those who say knowledge is power and won’t share set themselves up to fail as the pace of change means knowledge is only valid for a short time before things move on. Collaboration of experiences impacts on results – Collaboration is my key to Being THE BEST Team Member! Encourage others to share in your successes and they’ll be more inclined to support you when times get tough. Celebrate being THE BEST TEAM!
I hope this article has been of interest to you. We love working with teams to help them develop to be the best they can be. If we can help you give us a call.