Being a good team member means doing what's best for the team, even if you have to challenge others sometimes. Learn the seven most destructive team behaviors (including selfishness and aggression), which should be challenged as soon as they're noticed.
- Being a good team player means making allowances for people who want to do things differently to you. But it also means doing what's best for the team, even if you have to get a bit unpopular at times. For example, if one of the others in your team isn't being a team player, then you should challenge them on that. Here are the seven worst team behaviors, which should certainly be challenged if they're noticed by anyone, including you. Number one is selfishness, putting oneself before the team to the detriment of the team.
This also includes not returning favors which others in the team have done for you and will rapidly lead to breakdown of the team. Second is unreliability, as in not keeping your promises to the others in the team and not doing the things that you've agreed to do for the team. Keeping your promises is important in all of life, but most of all when the others in your team are relying on you. If you say you'll do something, then you must keep that promise to the team. This is the foundation of trust, which is what teams are all about.
Number three is aggressive behavior towards other team members, and it's completely unacceptable. And so is a more common but more subtle version of it, passive aggressive behavior. And this includes things like sulking, ignoring particular members of the team, keeping grudges, criticizing others behind their backs, that kind of thing. Fourth on my list is negative attitude about the situation or about other team members, and it includes gossip.
If you really have to have negative thoughts, then keep them to yourself. Number five is dishonesty. Everyone in the team has to be completely honest with each other. That's a key foundation for a good team, and that includes not keeping quiet when you know something important. Number six is laziness or not pulling your weight, not doing your fair share of the work. If you think someone is being lazy, initially ask them if they're okay and help them if they have a problem.
But if it becomes a regular habit, then call them on it. And lastly, number seven, lack of communication. As we've already seen, although some people are much more introverted than others, if you're part of a team, it's not okay to fail to participate or to fail to reveal important information when it's needed. A good team needs everyone to speak up when necessary. Initially, help them by asking for their views. But if it persists, then call them on it. So I'd just like you to think about whether there are any people in your team who you ought to have pulled up on one of the above and have not been assertive enough to challenge.
And also, maybe it would be good to ask yourself if there is one of the above that you're a little bit prone to. Maybe that could be a good resolution to reduce that tendency in yourself and become an even better team player.
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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