I recently stated in a prior post:
“It turns out all these years later, I had what it takes to be a good instructional designer BUT it is only with the help of a good team that you become great!”
Though my depiction of working on a team might be idealistic, being part of a team is anything but perfect.
There are many, many challenges when working on a team. Some challenges include personality conflicts, mistrust, lack of communication, personal agendas, and power struggles. This post is not to tell you how to control your team. You can’t control, manipulate, or coax people to change. The only power you have is to change your behavior and in doing that you can positively impact your team.
Become the team member you want to work with.
Become a team member every team wants to work with.
Here are some tips to being an AWESOME team member!
The worst thing is to have someone on your team who you can’t trust. There are many ways to lose someone’s trust and we definitely don’t have time to go through each. But lying, stealing ideas, and pitting team members against each other are clear ways to lose someone’s trust. Be a person of integrity and work with others with the mindset that you want to enhance the team dynamics by being honest and trustworthy. Betraying someone for money, promotion, and/or recognition can be a lonely place. Give credit where credit is due. Motivate and encourage each other. Don’t be afraid to teach others so that each member can grow in knowledge and skills. Offer to help team members who need assistance. Doing so, will build trust with your team members.
Get along! Find things in common with your teammates. I’m not saying be best friends but be kind and respectful. Remember birthdays, send a card, bring a coffee once in a while, celebrate each others life events with a tiny gift or thoughtful email or card. All these things are quick and easy. You can make someone’s day with a tiny gesture and you’ll earn their respect. I know it is easier said than done especially when the other person is nasty. Believe me I KNOW! But it is possible.
Abandon hidden agendas!
The desire to get recognized, earn more money, and/or seek promotion are all natural desires. All these things are not bad. We all want to move forward in our careers and be recognized for good, innovative work. But to do so at the expense of your team members is a hidden agenda. Being kind to gain an advantage, using people to look good, instigating fights amongst members of the team, and gossiping are definitely not the ways to be a good team member. We’ve all been guilty in engaging in one or more of these activities but recognizing that you have a hidden agenda and how that agenda can impact the team is the first step in correcting the behavior.
The worst offense of all amongst teams is the lack of communication. Communicating lets everyone know you are on the same page. You can solve problems by communicating. The lack of communication, whether intentional or not, can destroy productivity and morale. Lack of communication can be perceived in many ways including secretive, dishonest, immature, stubborn, and prideful. Separating yourself from the team is also lack of communication though it does speak volumes!
P.S. If you have any topics you would like me to talk about or any questions, send me your comments or questions by going to the Contact Me page.