Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just leadership that needs to concern themselves with team building. No matter where you fall in the hierarchy, how you well you work with others is important. We should aim to fine tune our leadership and support system skills equally. This way, no matter what role you find yourself in—you will prove to be an asset.
Here are a few tips to becoming a better team member:
Let the Leader, Lead
I have seen this so many times and I am sure you have too. One of the people on the team, has no idea how to let go. They have become so used to calling all of the shots, that they don’t know what it feels like to let someone else oversee a project. Or even worse—in an effort to retain all the glory they employ the most annoying strategy, trying to insert their input into every.single.thing.
As an effective team member, you will need to step back and let the leader of the project lead. While you may have some wiggle room with this depending on where you fall in the hierarchy, it is most likely that your main objective is to support. Every great project has a team of people working together for the greater good, if everyone is trying to lead that will be a disaster. Support the leader, and the project will move forward smoothly.
Respect Your Colleagues
I mentioned this in my article about being an effective leader as well but it also applies here. Respecting those around you is a mantra we should all use in every day interactions anyway, but it is certainly true for business. No one wants to work with someone who doesn’t respect them. If the leader did their job by bringing on the most qualified candidates, then part of your job is to respect everyone’s place at the table.
Even if you feel that they didn’t hire the best team, or that someone is there that shouldn’t be, respect everyone that is involved! This is a a great time to protect your integrity, and just do the best you can to work with everyone. The better the environment, the better the overall work will be. Sometimes, we just get paired with people that don’t mesh with us, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get the work done!
Complete Your Assigned Tasks
I am sure you remember working on team projects in school. There was always that one person who came in the next day and completed nothing, or did the bare minimum! Everyone strongly disliked that person, because of course that meant everyone else had to pick up the slack or do without. For goodness sakes, do not be that person! I have been on projects where one person never got their tasks completed in a timely manner, it always hurt the entire group and on some rare occasions, that person was let go.
One way to avoid becoming this person, is by not agreeing to things that you know you can not give your full attention to. If you do sign on to be a part of a project, you must make it a priority! The last thing you want is to make your colleagues feel like they have to do your work for you. You will earn a reputation quickly, and that will not be a good one.
Being a strong team member is important to your success. Most entrepreneurs don’t know this, they make the mistake of thinking it’s all about them. If you can realize, that helping others grow is just as important as your own growth, you will shoot far ahead of your competitors. In our self-centered world, where everyone seems to only be in it for their own advancement, you will be a breath of fresh air! Opportunities will begin to come your way that you would have never imagined. If you support others from a place of gratitude, with an objective to be of service to those around you, you will build a network of people that will do whatever they can for you (and vice versa).
One thing I have learned on my journey, is that we certainly can not get to the successful life that we want if we do not extend our hand to someone else.
What do you think? What makes a good team member? Have you worked on a project that was a total disaster? Let us know in the comments below!