Tag: Team Members

How Your Team Can Avoid Office Politics

How Your Team Can Avoid Office Politics

Getting involved in office politics can seriously harm the success of your team. The work environment often draws team members into behaviour that will ultimately damage peer-to-peer relationships. The following are some guidelines for your team to follow in order to avoid getting involved in office politics.

Avoid Gossip

There is no upside to gossip. Not only does it diminish the person saying unkind things, but it also diminished those listening to what is being said. Encourage your team to not only avoid gossiping about others, but also to avoid listening to gossip. Remind them that whoever gossips to you will also gossip about you.

Stay Away From Petty Arguments

In most organizations you will find past grudges, ongoing feuds and petty arguments. Your team must avoid getting sucked into them even if they think they can solve them. It is a sign of maturity to know when something is petty and when it is not. Your team must know when to jump in and when to sit back and listen.

Stand Up For What is Right, Not Just What is Popular

Wise people often sit back and listen, but do not hesitate to stand up for what is right even if it is unpopular. Teach your team that it is time to stand up for what is right when someone is being treated in a way that they themselves would not want to be treated.

Look At All Sides Of an Issue

There is great value for your team members in seeing issues from as many sides as possible. It always pays for your team to avoid being dogmatic in their thinking.

Don’t Protect Your Turf

Politics is often about power. People who want to win at all costs, fight and scrap to keep everything that belongs to them. Your team members should look at what is best for the team and not only best for themselves. If they have to give up some space to help the team, then they must be encouraged to do that. What matters the most is the team.

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

To develop trust with others, your team must be credible and consistent. Trust is only achieved when what you say, what you do and what you say you do all match up.

Related: Trust Outcome Based Team Building Aactivities

 

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The Importance of Selflessness in Teamwork

The Importance of Selflessness in Teamwork

If you want to contribute positively towards the success of your team, it is important that you place others ahead of yourself. You have to be willing sometimes to take the backseat to other team members. Teams only succeed when its team members are prepared to place other team members above themselves. Being selfless is not always easy but it is a vital part of teamwork.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

How to Cultivate an Attitude of Generosity

  • Be Generous. Generosity is at the heart of selflessness that unites and advances the team. A team is well placed for success when it consists of team members that are willing to give of themselves generously for the cause of the team.
  • Avoid Internal Politics. Playing politics on the team is one of the worst forms of selfishness. It usually includes posturing and positioning for your benefit regardless of how it may damage the team’s relationships. Selfless team members are more concerned about other team members benefitting than how they can benefit themselves.
  • Display Loyalty. Only when you show loyalty to other members of the team, can you expect loyalty from them. If you put yourself on the line for your team they will work hard for you and complete the tasks you give them, even in challenging circumstances. Loyalty fosters unity and unity leads to team success.
  • Value Interdependence over Independence. Independence is valuable as it often leads to hard work, innovation and the willingness to stand for what is right. But the independence taken too far has the characteristics of selfishness, especially when it harms or hinders other members of the team.

How to Become a More Selfless Team Member

  • Promote Someone Other Than Yourself. Do not always look to promote yourself and your achievements. Determine to keep silent about yourself more often and praise the work of the other team members. Always look for positive things to say about your team members.
  • Take a Subordinate Role. It is a natural tendency for people to want to take the best place and let others fend for themselves. Practice taking a subordinate role through the discipline of serving others and letting others go first.
  • Give Secretly. Give something to someone that can never repay you. You can make sure that a team member cannot repay you by giving them something in secret. If your giving is done in secret, it is impossible for the team member to repay you.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

 

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The Importance of Discipline in Teamwork

The Importance of Discipline in Teamwork

Discipline can be defined as doing those things that you do not want to do so that you can do the things that you really want to do. It is paying the price in the little things so that you can obtain the bigger things. In the same way that no individual can succeed without discipline, no team can be successful without discipline.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Team Members Need  Discipline in Three Areas

  1. Disciplined Thinking: You need disciplined thinking if you want to get anywhere in live. You can develop disciplined thinking by keeping your mind active, regularly taking on mental challenges and continually talking about the right things.
  2. Disciplined Emotions: You can either master your emotions or be mastered by them. Mastering your emotions does not mean you have to turn off your feelings. You master your emotions by not allowing them to prevent you from doing what you should do or doing what you should not.
  3. Disciplined Actions: It is actions that separate winners from losers. Whenever a team member practices disciplined actions, other people that depend on them, benefit.

How to Become a More Disciplined Team Member

  • Strengthen your work habits. Do what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, whether you like doing it or not. To be disciplined is to do the right things for the right reasons at the right time. Look to do something every day that is unpleasant for you to do but that has to be done.
  • Take on a challenge. To help strengthen your mind and resolve, look for a task or project that will put you in over your head. Something that will require you to think sharply and act with discipline. If you keep challenging yourself in this manner, you will find yourself capable of more than you ever imagined.
  • Be disciplined in what you say. Stop yourself from saying things that you should not. When you feel like lashing out, hold your tongue for five minutes. When you give yourself time to calm down, you will see the situation more rationally. If you use this strategy repeatedly, you will find yourself in better command of your emotions.

 

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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The Importance of Dependability in Teamwork

The Importance of Dependability in Teamwork

Dependability in team members is essential to the success of any team. Everybody in the team knows which of the team members are not dependable. Conversely, everyone on the team knows which team members they can rely on.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Qualities of Dependable Team Members

  • Pure Motives: When it comes to teamwork, the motives of the team members matter greatly. As team leader, you need to keep your motives right and encourage your team members to do the same. Undependable team members are usually those who place themselves and their agendas ahead of what is best for the team.
  • Responsibility: Dependable team members have a strong sense of responsibility. While motivation refers to why people are dependable, responsibility indicates that a team member wants to be dependable.
  • Sound Thinking: To be of real value to the team, dependable team members are not only willing to take responsibility but they also exercise sound judgment.
  • Consistent Contribution: A dependable team member is a consistent team member. If you cannot depend on a team member all of the time, you cannot depend on them any of the time. Consistency is more than talent. Consistency requires depth of character which enables a team member to follow through no matter the circumstances.

How to Be a More Dependable Team Member

  • Check your motives. Commit your goals to paper and consider how many of them benefit the teams that you are part of or only benefit you. Spend some time aligning your personal priorities with those of your team.
  • Discover what your word is worth. Ask other team members to rate you out of ten on your reliability. If they rate you lower than ten or nine, you may need to write down your commitments as you make them from that day forward and track your follow through for at least one month.
  • Find someone on your team to hold you accountable. You are more likely to develop dependability if you have a partner to help you. Find someone you respect to help you keep your commitments.

 

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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Collaborative Teamwork

Collaborative Teamwork

To overcome significant challenges, excellent teamwork is required. When you face challenges as a team, the one quality that is most valuable in a team member is the ability to collaborate with other team members. Collaboration is more than just working together with one another. Whereas cooperation is working together agreeably, collaboration can be described as working together aggressively. In a collaborative effort, each team member brings value to the team. The sum of collaborative teamwork is always greater than its parts.

Do you see yourself as a collaborative team member? You may not be working against the team, but that does not mean you are working for it. Do you bring cooperation and added value to your team?

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Team Members are Collaborators, not Competitors

In any team there is the potential for competition because all people have their goals, hopes and dreams that they want to achieve. Collaborative team members are more interested in completing others than competing with others. For a team to work together effectively, competition within the team must never reach a point where it hurts the team.

Be Supportive of Team Members

If you are preoccupied with looking out for your interests, you become naturally suspicious of everyone. To be a collaborative team member you need to suspend suspicions and become a team player. It comes down to attitude. You have to learn to assume other people’s motives are good unless proven otherwise. When you trust people, you will treat them better and will be more likely to create collaborative relationships.

Focus on the Team

Where you focus your attention says a lot about whether you compete with others or complete others. When your focus is on the team and not you, you are more likely to pass the baton instead of trying to finish the race yourself.

Create Victories through Multiplication

Many great things can be achieved through teamwork. Collaboration has a multiplying effect. It releases and harnesses your skills and that of the other team members.

How to Become a Collaborative Team Member

  • Think Win-Win-Win: When you collaborate with other team members, you win, they win and the team wins. Find a competitor on your team and share information with that team member. Working together will benefit both you and the team.
  • Complement Other Team Members: Look to team up with others that have strengths in the area of your weaknesses and vice versa. Seek those in the team with complementary gifts to yours and work together.
  • Remove yourself from the Picture: Make it a habit of asking what is best for the team. Instead of always looking to promote your ideas, ask how the team would do if you were not involved in the solution. If it would do better, then propose ideas that promote and involve other people on the team.

 

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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Leadership: Modeling the Way for Your Team

Leadership: Modeling the Way for Your Team

The best team leaders are those that are examples of what they want their team to be. An effective leader does not lead from the back. A team leader that sends the team out to face the challenges while remaining in an ivory tower will never gain the respect of the team. By definition, a leader is someone who takes the lead and is ready to take the heat if something goes wrong. A real leader does not blame the team members even if in fact they failed. The real leader takes the blame and addresses how to correct the problem.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Be an Inspirational Role Model

Leadership requires self-confidence and is neither for the timid nor the arrogant. People who lack self-confidence often feel intimidated by a real leader. Do not let a lack of self-confidence hold you back. If you have honesty, integrity and deal with everyone fairly, others will recognize it. A leader should be open to criticism but should consider the source as well. You should not be afraid of what other may say; neither should you ignore legitimate complaints. If you insist on respect solely based on your position, you will easily lose the respect and cooperation of your team.

Influencing the Perspectives of Your Team Members

It is often said that perception is reality. As a leader, it is important that you are always presenting an honest, caring, dedicated attitude to inspire others. If you aim to inspire loyalty in your team members, it is essential that you have a track record of honesty and fairness. Address the issue immediately if any of your team members feel they have been wronged, whatever the reason may be. A problem that is ignored is a problem that grows.

Often the most-powerful influence a leader can have is in not trying to influence someone. If your team feels that you are open to their suggestions and believe that they have been heard, they will work harder even if they disagree with the methods or goals. You will find that simply listening to others make them feel empowered even if they don’t accept your ideas. If the members of your team feel that there is no point in talking to you, then they simply won’t. This could lead to the team members becoming disengaged from your vision and only following your directions begrudgingly.

If your team members see that you are willing to go the extra mile, they are more likely to go the extra mile as well. A team leader that hides in the office will be perceived as uninterested and uninformed, and therefore unworthy to lead. Many successful leaders of large organizations make it a point to seen by their team members every day. When a team member is to be commended for something, it should be done in front of the rest of the team. This will send a powerful message to all the team members.

 

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