Become a better team member by looking for feedback, experimenting, and getting out of your comfort zone.
Self knowledge is one of the keys to success in life, because without it., you won't be able to use your strengths and avoid being let down by your weaknesses. So the first step towards being a better team member is to look for feedback. Ask people how you did, how you can improve. Ask what else you can do to help and look for clues in the answers. If someone says you can maybe, explain your plan a bit more clearly, then you're probably rubbish at communicating.
Or if somebody says, you can maybe give them a bit more freedom in how they do their part of things, then you're probably a control freak. And you need to look carefully for these clues, because people don't often come right out and say what they think, especially if it's critical. And if they actually do, then you should value it, rather than write them off as stupid or rude or wrong, which is sometimes a tempting option when we're being criticized. The other way to get to know more about yourself is to experiment. Try taking different roles within the team.
Try doing work that you wouldn't normally do, and see how you get on. Force yourself to come out of your comfort zone and do some things that you don't find easy. You might surprise yourself. An interesting exercise you can do, is to give yourself a score out of ten, for the following three things. First, taking your ultimate potential as ten out of ten, which isn't an easy concept actually, because none of us know what our potential really is, but let's gloss over that for the moment.
So taking that as ten, what is your current performance level? Ten would be performing to the max, while three would be wandering along with huge wasted potential. Next is, what does your job require, out of ten? So ten would be that it stretches you to the limit, while three would be that it's easy to the point of being boring. And finally, where is your comfort zone compared to all these? Are you performing above your comfort zone, or are you well within your comfort zone? So, if your comfort zone is nine, and your current job and performance are both five, then you're cruising, and maybe you ought to push yourself more.
But if your comfort zone is five, and your job and performance are both eight, then well done, you're really going for it. Try writing down these three numbers and thinking about yourself. Are you pushing yourself? Are you even pushing yourself too much? Are you learning and developing for the future? The more you learn, the better you can perform in the future, both for yourself, and for whatever team you find yourself in.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- 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