Learn how to play more than one role and increase your value to your team. Use your second or third choices, if required. Examine your current team for new roles.
- As we saw earlier, there are maybe as many as 16 things that need to be done within a team, and the team may only be two or three people, so everyone is going to have to contribute in a number of different ways. It's not going to be enough to say, "Well, that's what I do, and that's all I do." In fact, even your number one best thing, let's say it's keeping a track of all the details, might be someone else's number one best thing as well, so you might not even get to do that. So flexibility of role is a useful feature in a team player, and it's worth being aware of this, and trying to cultivate it in yourself.
Basically, you start with knowing what you're best at, and then you also work out what your reserve choices are. Maybe you have one or two or three other things you can do well in a team. Then, you can use your second or third choices if required, and you would do this consciously. You would think, "I know I like to boss everyone around, "but Jeff is even more bossy than me, "and he's a good guy, so I'll let him lead "and I'll be one of the workers this time." Not easy sometimes.
Just to give you a couple of examples, clearly leadership is something that you might let go of, even though it's your number one preferred role, or step up to, even though it's only fourth on your list but there just isn't anyone else who wants to do it. Or you might decide to focus on coaching and helping the others, instead of leading from the front. Or you might decide to help with the idea generation, even though you don't normally choose that first. Or you might notice that nobody else is thinking about what might go wrong and do that.
Or, maybe, nobody's paying attention to the detail or the cost or the time or the project planning. So, how flexible are you? Do you always have a favorite role in every team task? And what are your two or three reserve roles that you could use instead? In order to help you, there's a list of possible team roles in the Exercise Files that you can download and think about.
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- Getting the job done
- Dividing up the work
- Cultivating communication
- Handling conflict
- Delivering reliably
- Playing more than one role
- Using your strengths and dealing with your weaknesses