When it comes to teamwork, reliability is crucial—truly. Knowing you can rely on a teammate is critical for establishing and maintaining trust within a team. The progress of a team effort gets derailed when one person doesn't do their part. Learn about three tips to demonstrate you're a reliable teammate.
- If you had to choose between a performer who was absolutely stellar but inconsistent, or a performer who was strong, consistent, and reliable, which would you choose? When it comes to teamwork, there's no question. Reliability is crucial. Knowing you can rely on a teammate is critical for establishing and maintaining trust within a team. The progress of a team's effort can easily get derailed when one person doesn't do their part.
To demonstrate you're a reliable teammate, you should keep your commitments, deliver results, and consistently communicate key status updates. Let's start with keeping your commitments. Your word is your bond. Whenever you can, make sure you're consistently doing the things you say you'll do, even when you don't think people are paying attention. You'd be surprised what people notice, but don't comment about. If you make promises that you don't keep, you'll quickly get the reputation for being a teammate that can't be relied on.
So, if you agree to a standing weekly meeting at 7:00 a.m., make sure you're ready to go at seven on those mornings. Speaking of promises, make sure you can deliver results on the portion of the team's work you're responsible for. I like to advise people to underpromise and overdeliver. What I mean by this is set a realistic goal and make sure you can deliver on that. Then, if you can do more, your teammates will be delighted. On the other hand, if you initially commit to a lofty goal and fall short, you'll disappoint the team.
Of course, life happens. You can't be expected to attend a 100% of the functions, meetings, or engagements that you may be committed to which is why it's important to communicate key states updates. If something comes up, you're sick, you've hit a roadblock, whatever might keep you from honoring a commitment or delivering the expected results, let your teammates know as soon as possible. The more advanced notice you can give, the better. This allows time for everyone to adjust their expectations or the workload when necessary.
When you don't communicate, people often assume the worst. Even if you're regularly a strong performer, they remember the times when you let the team down which is why it's critical to keep your team informed if or when you think you can't keep your commitments or deliver the expected outcome. Now, people are much more forgiving if you don't communicate positive news, in fact, they often don't mind at all. For example, if you're 20% under the expected budget, that's news you can and should share but most likely won't upset anyone if you don't mention it right away.
On the other hand, if you know you're going to be 20% over the projected budget, this is information you want to loop everyone into as soon as you can. You may be tempted to keep bad news to yourself with the hope that you can resolve the issue before anyone notices it was even a problem. I'd be careful about this because it's a very risky approach. High performing teams need reliable and consistent performers. You'll build your reputation as an effective teammate if you remember to keep your commitments, deliver results, and keep your teammates in the loop when things change by communicating key status updates.
- List benefits of putting your team’s needs before your own.
- Name the qualities of a teammate who is considered to be reliable.
- Explain what it means to be proactive.
- Recognize the importance of adjusting to the collaborative decision of the team.
- Recall the attributes displayed by a strategically focused team member.