Learn how to offer support, such as thanks, compliments, and offers to help to your team when needed.
- An important aspect of being a great team player is to be supportive towards your colleagues. Some people find this more natural to do than others. I must admit, I tend to focus more on the task than on the other people and under pressure, I might not do it at all, but rather than leave it to other people to support the others in the team, we should all do it. So I've been thinking about what it would take to be the nicest person ever. What do really great team players do with respect to their colleagues? And I think there are three quick wins that nice people do, and here they are: Thanking people, complimenting them, and offering to help them.
So let's have a look. Thanking your colleague when he or she has done something good. When were you last thanked? I ask people this on training courses and quite often they say, "Not for a few months," or even "Never." It's free, it only takes a moment, and it's only good manners and it makes a big difference. The second one was complimenting people if they're good at something or have done a really good job. This is certainly different to thanking because it doesn't have to be anything they've done for you, just something they're doing well for the team.
Thirdly is offering to help. If you notice someone finding something difficult or just short of time, this takes a bit more time than the other two but still, it could be just something small like carrying something up some stairs or drying up some teacups while you chat to someone in the kitchen. I saw an amazing video in YouTube where they did an experiment and a guy has a load of boxes on a trolley and he lets a part of them fall over in the street and all that passes by make tutting noises. They step over his stuff and not a single person offers to help him pick it all up.
Not a team at all. So, when you're thinking about how to do more of this, you can do it by person. For each person that you know, have you done at least one of these? Think of Fred first, have you thanked him or complimented him or helped him recently? What about Dave? And you can also do it by activity. Can you thank someone today? Compliment someone today? Or offer to help someone today? But is this all a bit manipulative? Thanking people is a game, to make them think you're a nice guy.
Well, I would say that if you can make thanking or complimenting people a habit, then it's no longer false or manipulative. It's become part of you and you've become a better person and a better team player. Again, I've made you a worksheet which you can download and you can make a list of who they are, when you last thanked them, complimented them, or offered to help them. And maybe once you spot any glaring gaps, like, you never do anything nice for Miles or you never offer to help anyone, then you could make a plan for when you'll do it.
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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