As we prepare for the launch of Walter Bond’s newest initiative, The Personal Development Mastermind Group, we got to thinking about teamwork. About how every successful team is made up of committed individuals who share many of the same qualities but also offer a diverse and fresh perspective. The Walter Bond team is made up of people from all over with different skill sets and experiences, and it’s their individual strengths paired with the common goal that makes everything run smoothly.
Chances are, you are part of several different teams in all areas of your life. Your marriage is a team, your relationship with your friends is a team effort, your relationship with your kids is a team effort. At work, you cycle through many different roles on many different levels and teams that contribute to the success of the company. So how can you be sure you’re adding value to the team you’re on? How can you be sure you’re bringing your A game to the table?
See how you measure up against these 6 characteristics to determine if your team is getting the best version of you:
Making an impact on the people that rely on you starts with being present. Be where you say you’ll be when you say you’ll be there. Actually, get there 5 minutes before. Being prompt and present is one way to show your team that you take your roles and responsibilities seriously. And being physically there isn’t enough. Don’t show up only to spend all of your time distracted by your phone or off in la la land thinking about your weekend plans. Be mentally and physically present to give your team the best version of you. In your personal life, showing up means sticking to your commitments. It means sticking around for the hard conversations instead of running away. It means showing the people in your life that they matter just by being there.
Everyone has been on a team with someone who just won’t stop talking. You can tell that instead of listening to what you’re saying, they are already formulating what they’re going to spout out next. These people are exhausting and take precious time away from the task at hand. Don’t be that person. Instead, use some of these techniques to practice active listening:
- Make eye contact with the speaker
- Take notice of your posture (slouching or crossing your arms makes you look defensive or uninterested)
- Non-verbal gestures like nodding or smiling to let the speaker know you’re comprehending what they are saying
- Ask questions when you don’t understand, or ask for clarification
- Recite information back to ensure you got everything right
Be open to feedback and constructive criticism. The reason we have two ears and one mouth is because we should listen twice as much as we speak.
Naturally, when you get a group of individuals together, there is always going to be some sort of conflict or difference of opinions. This is fine, healthy actually, and often results in healthy dialogue that leads to progress. Being flexible (without being walked on) is a vital trait of a valuable team player. Whether it is with your schedule, the specific process for a task, or the jobs you are assigned, being open-minded and flexible can help the team move ahead. Be willing to compromise and do things differently for the overall benefit of the team. A rigid and uncompromising attitude makes you hard to work with, and honestly, hard to like in general.
This is not the “(your name here) show” This is a team effort, which means everyone’s thoughts and voices and opinions and ideas should have an opportunity to be expressed. Your ideas are not always the best ideas. You shine brightest when you give others the opportunity to shine. Know your strengths and use them with confidence to move towards success, while always pointing out the abilities and strengths of others. Whether it is your spouse, your best friend or your employees, more of them and less of you is a trusted recipe for an uplifted and motivated team.
Every day might not be good, but there is good in every day. Find the positive in every situation and refuse to be the gossip, the victim or the naysayer. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything; it simply means choosing to see the good in the people around you. It means showing up in each relationship with the expectation that there will be good that comes from this. Find ways to make others happy. Find ways to see the opportunity instead of the obstacle. Every team needs someone who will boost morale, stay on track and keep an eye on the emotional temperature of the group. That person is often underappreciated but can be the glue that holds it all together.
Gratitude and Accountability
An impact player is accountable for his/her actions. There is no finger pointing or blaming or excuses, only accountability and responsibility. You dropped the ball? Admit it. You messed up big time, own up to it. You said you were going to do something? Do it. Your success or your failure is dependent on you. You are not a victim of your circumstances. You are in control of what you do and how you do it. Welcome to adulthood; where you’re accountable for your actions.
While you’re always responsible for your own actions, there is power in showing gratitude for the efforts of others. A simple thank you goes a long way, especially to someone who believes their work is going unnoticed. You bring your A-game when you walk into every situation just thankful for another opportunity. When you express gratitude to others on your team, the team feels more connected, more valued, more appreciated. Start every day listing three things you are grateful for and watch as you begin to notice more of these things as you interact with your team.
There is no “I” in team, which means this team, this marriage, this friendship, this business partnership, is not about you. But the team does need you. You’re in this relationship or situation for a reason, and the people you’re working with deserve your A-game.
Want to learn more about how to be an effective team player and create effective teams? Click here to learn more about the Personal Development Mastermind Group launching Oct 24th. If you’re serious about getting to the next level and giving your team your best, you won’t want to miss it.