Geno Smith, a NY Jets player, was punched in his face by a fellow teammate in August. Geno suffered a broken jaw and will be unable to play football for some time. Geno needed surgery. A teammate ruining a season and possibly the career of another player is an example of how NOT to be a team member.
Are your team members great team players? What can you do to be a better team member? How can great team players help the organization achieve its mission and goals?
1. Be realistic.
The mission of the team player is understood by the business, project, or team, and they work daily to achieve it.
2. Every day, strive for improvement.
Great team players are able to think about their job and their role. They also consider how they can improve their performance, contribute, and streamline the process. People who regularly go to the gym. Are they doing the same exercise every day? They don’t. They want to be faster, do more pushups, do more reps, or do more pushups every day.
3. Find out what they should do.
Managers, coaches, and leaders often assume their team members know how to succeed. To improve their performance, team players need to understand not only what they are expected to do in their current roles but also what they should do to move up and make a difference.
4. Take the team’s goals and make them your own.
The team’s needs, outcomes, and the greater good are the most important things to remember.
5. Communicate, communicate and then communicate again.
My colleague said to me, “If communication is your forte, you will be great at it.”
Communication is more than just listening to what your boss says, then nodding your head and doing it. Communication is about communicating with others. Communication also involves letting others know when you are done with your part. Complete the loop.
The great team players keep the message from the coach, the orders of the boss, and the mission of team members strong.
6. Act as a bridge and not a wall
Do not be a hindrance at work. Once, I was asked, “What qualities do you desire in your new boss?” I replied that I didn’t want my boss as an obstacle to me succeeding in my job. I was not looking for a bridge. Someone who would be helpful and make connections allowed me to do my job more effectively. I wanted a boss that wouldn’t make my job harder. (I know.) I have low expectations.
As a boss or team member, make sure you aren’t a hindrance to other people doing their job.
Respond quickly to emails sent by others. You must meet a deadline if you are to respond quickly. Make sure your division is responsible for quality control. Help others succeed by being a bridge.
7. Provide feedback. Everyone wants to feel that they are doing a good job.
Many people fear that their boss might view them as being insensitive or obtuse. It can be very frustrating for a boss to send out messages and not hear back. Great team players give feedback and hold those responsible accountable for communicating the message.
8. Be true to yourself and do what you say.
Baseball has a system where other players throw the ball to the second baseman when they have an out. This is in hopes that the ball will land where it is supposed to. This is how they practice, and it is what should happen. Are your team members able to trust you to do what you say? Can your team trust you to do the things you promise?
9. One of my friends said that she rose to the top by dressing up, showing up, and speaking up.
She was the most trustworthy person on any team. She looked the part. She was able to step into the role of her boss, voice her opinions and galvanize her co-workers for the company’s goals. She is a great team player!
Mary C. Kelly, a productivity and leadership speaker, has helped organizations and individuals become more productive and engaged in their work.