High-performing teams can't be reactive. Instead, thinking proactively about your team's objectives will make you an invaluable asset to the group. You can do this by planning ahead, anticipating roadblocks or challenges, problem-solving, and pushing the team's agenda along when the effort stalls.
- Hunger, drive, ambition, a real go-getter. These characteristics describe a teammate who's proactive about getting the team's work completed. Given the pace of business today, if your team is usually focused on responding to everything that comes your way, you'll quickly get bogged down in the work of putting out fires rather than preventing them. An ideal teammate is proactive. So, how does one model proactivity? What are the behaviors that signal this quality? A proactive teammate thinks strategically about the team's role in the organization as a whole.
By taking a step back, and looking at the bigger picture, you can help your team strategically consider the work you're doing and how it fits into the broader organization. This may require that you take some time to learn about the other functional areas that are impacted by your team's work. How does your team's efforts impact other people in your company, what about your customers? Knowing how your team's work fits into the big picture will help you anticipate the needs of your organization. Thinking ahead is a very important asset an effective teammate brings to the table.
When you're thinking ahead, you can often anticipate potential challenges that the team can address before they become bigger problems. When you plan ahead, you lighten the workload for everyone on your team, if you've thought through the, say, five steps of your team's project, you have a perspective on the work that others won't have considered. You can suggest combining steps three and five, which won't have occurred to others on your team, because they're reacting to each step in sequence. This saves time and redundancies with your team's work.
Even when you're thinking about your team's work in the broader context of your organization, anticipating the needs of your stakeholders, and planning ahead, inevitably things won't always go as you expect, and teams can quickly get derailed by setbacks and/or unanticipated changes. When that happens, an ideal teammate will get the team back on track by refocusing on the goals or deliverables that matter most. It's easy to get bogged down in the details of projects, and if you're not careful, rebounding from these little excursions can add a lot of time to the overall journey.
High-performing teams can't afford to always be reactive. Instead, thinking proactively about your team's objectives will make you an invaluable asset to the group. You can do this by keeping the big picture in mind, anticipating roadblocks or challenges, planning ahead, and pushing the team's agenda along when the effort stalls.