You may not have had the opportunity to create a team, or maybe it’s just your time to be a part of one. Both of these roles are equally as rewarding. Being one part of a team can sometimes create the illusion that you don’t have to work as hard, or that you’re not valued as much because there are other people on the team that are more qualified or more experienced than you. This is simply not true.
I’ve had the honor to collaborate with some great people over the years. I am somewhat of an introvert, and prefer to work alone a lot of the time. That being said, there is nothing more rewarding than reaching a common goal as part of a team. While I do enjoy the tranquility of single-mindedness, I realize that “none of us is as good as all of us”.
Your ability to work together as part of an effective, cohesive team will ultimately define you as a leader. While working alone may have its perks, depending on your style, the people you work with have the ability to help you get to where you want to go.
Here are seven traits of a highly cohesive team member:
You can’t expect to get any work done as a team without clear communication. With everyone bringing something different to the table, you’ve got to be able to pull in what they say, and provide efficient feedback.
An essential part of communication is listening. Effective listening is vitally important so that you’re not missing out on important details. What does it take to be a good listener? Stop talking.
Don’t expect to sit back and enjoy the ride. A cohesive team member provides input and has buy-in to the success of the project. Remember, you were chosen for the team because you share a passion for the outcome of the project. You have great ideas, put them on the table.
Change happens. You must be able to deal with it when it comes. Remain flexible. Remain calm. One of the more enjoyable things about working towards a goal together, is that the road to getting there isn’t always going to be paved. One minute you know where you’re going, the next you have to find a detour through the woods. It isn’t always fun because you were expecting easy, but the reward comes when you find another way around.
Everything you say or every idea you present isn’t always going to be mutually accepted by the rest of the team. Personalities clash. You will get push back. This is expected. You must be able to deflect those punches, but occassionally you may have to take one in the jaw.
Respect the personality styles and ideas of your fellow team members. You are likely all very different, but you should be able to examine yourself and the team to evaluate how you can best work together. Personalities will clash, some will stick together like glue. You don’t have to like everything about the people you’re working with, but you do have to respect them.
The great thing about having someone to bounce ideas off of, is that they can provide you with feedback, and find loopholes in your idea that you may have never seen. The team lead and the members have to foster a culture of collaboration. This means you provide feedback, and you take feedback. Don’t get offended if someone shoots holes in your idea, believe it or not, it may not have been fireproof to begin with. In fact, you should expect this, and encourage it.
It is ultimately up to you how you let your thoughts, words, and actions affect the team and the outcome of the project. Working towards a common goal with someone or with a group is rewarding and fun, especially if you can create or foster a culture of respect and positivity.
What is it you enjoy most about being a part of a team? You can leave your comment below.