Monthly Archives: January 2012

What if I am not a Team Player?

A team player is not necessarily liked by everyone, nor does a team player usually like everyone on the team. However, a true team player is an employee that can be counted on to do his or her part of the work and be relied on to complete tasks and work cooperatively with others. It is true also that not everyone enjoys working with other people, some prefer to do their work by themselves, thinking “if you want something well done, do it yourself”.

But there will be times where you will be “forced” to work in a group. Well, maybe not forced. But let’s face it, not one has ten arms, ten hands and can be at ten places at the same time. In many situations, you will have to count on other people. Now, the big question: Maybe you will be able to trust other people, but can people trust you?

There is no big secret in being a good team player. First of all, it is important to have respect for all the members who are working with you. Remember, you don’t need to like them, but need to respect. Do not ever do to someone something you wouldn’t like to be done to yourself. Other than that, there are a few tips that can be followed to become a better team player.

1. Be responsible: When the opportunity arises, take up responsibilities that are outside the scope of your current role. Show people you are willing to work hard and learn more.

2. Coach: If you are good at something, coach or train another person on it. Giving out knowledge only enhances it, never reduces.

3. Be open: Encourage free thinking and discussion. Never discount or ridicule other’s ideas. Also, take each team-member seriously, never making assumptions about someone’s ignorance or knowledge.

4. Be generous: Give credit where it is due, never take credit for what is not your work. Never hold back on a compliment.

5. Build relationships: To forge relationships, have a friendly disposition. Do not ever someone behind his or her back, and do never gossip.

I won’t try to convince you that it is easy to work in a group, because it is really not. Some will find it easier than others. But the importance here is to realize the effectiveness that teams could bring. If you don’t consider yourself a good team player, perhaps you could try at least working with other people. You may end up discovering a new enjoyable way to work.

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The Power of a Team

Hello readers!
Today I won’t give tips or advises, I won’t say what to do or not to do. Today I will tell a little story. Not a fairytale, but one of my best stories which and I am proud of, and with a happy ending thanks for the power of a great team.

On my senior year playing for the University of Nevada Women’s Tennis Team, we beat Boise State. That wasn’t just a victory, that was a historical victory because that have never happened before. The week before this event, our team had lost to University of the Pacific, which was a not expected result. The coaches, seeing out poor performance, ran a meeting after at the end of the day saying the main reason for our loss was because we were not behaving like a team. We were only seven individual players worried with our own problems and not looking around for the others. And that was unacceptable!

As more important matches were getting close, including the conference, we needed to find a solution for the improvement of the team, making it more cohesive. The leaders then (me, and the two other senior at that time) decided to gather all the girls and solve together. A meeting was held at one of the player’s apartment with pizzas and casual talks, as a normal team hang out. But it was also time to take care of business.

We all agreed that a good way to put the team together was to make sure that all the members were in the same page, and by “same page” we meant all the players aware of our common goal, and strong and weak points of each of us. In order for that to happen, we and sat down and start to talk about what each of us was bringing to the team, and where we each could improve. At this point, it was important not to take any critical in personal, but professionally, understanding that it was done for the good of the team.

Well, one was told to cheer more, other was told to talk more, and others were told to be more supportive. At the end, all of us were clear of what we had to work on in order for the team to grow. And the result I already told you. It was victory! We were not only happy for the achievement, but for the fact that we all made it TOGETHER!

That will be one of the best memories I will keep in my heart. That day we proved the power of a real team and what it is able to do.


Couple’s Teamwork

Today I am going to put employees and industries a side for a bit and talk about another kind of relationship: Couples! Although many people can’t see, a couple is also a team, which requires collaboration from its members in order to make the relationship last healthily. The need for teamwork is very important for a relationship that has progressed beyond the initial infatuation stage. At some point, your relationship will turn into a partnership where you had better learn to help and support each other.

Four teamwork tips are important for Relationships:

1. The importance of sacrifice: The best way to get the most from a relationship is to take pleasure in giving. Although people are naturally selfish, they also get enjoyment when they cause joy in another human being. Giving isn’t always about physical gifts, it’s also about giving in sometimes to the wishes of your partner. This requires sacrifice on your part.

2. Work with your strengths: This is very important if you’re living together or are married. When deciding how to split up the tasks, let the person who is best at the job do it. It only makes sense since that person will do the work more quickly and effortlessly. No two people are exactly the same and will have their own strengths and weaknesses. These strengths and weaknesses should be put to use for the benefit of the relationship.

3. Maintain a positive outlook: You must have optimism if you are going to take on the challenges of life. Pessimism only makes problems seem even harder and sucks the motivation right out of you. It’s also contagious and weakens your partner as well.

4. Don’t compete with you partner: Always remember that you’re a team. What’s good for the relationship is also good for you. If you’re naturally competitive, remind yourself that it isn’t just you against the world, it’s your partnership with your woman against the rest of the world. Your strengths should complete each other’s.

Teamwork is necessary in any kind of relationship where the members have a common goal. When it comes to romantic relationship, it also involves the interpersonal facts, which sometimes involves more collaboration. Being a couple means partnership. Partnership means Teamwork!

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Leaders For A Better Teamwork

One of the most important aspects of effective teamwork is effective leadership. This means that the team leader should have the skills to create and maintain a working culture that is positive, which in turn will help to motivate. This helps to motivate and even inspire the team members to get involved in creating an environment where there is a positive approach to work, along with high levels of commitment.

A good team leader is a person who not only focuses himself/herself on the purpose and direction of the team, but also makes sure that the other members of the team share this focus. A good team leader also has to be able to promote a high level of morale amongst the team members so that they feel supported and valued. Promoting synergy in the team is also part of the leader’s role. Synergy is when two or more people are working together and the result is greater than the sum of their individual capabilities. What gives a team synergy is when each person uses and shares his or her skills. Their skills are the tools in their toolbox.

Recently updates define the ideal “leader of the future” with collaboration as a guiding principle. A strong motivator to becoming a better partner with your leader-peers is to take stock of what notcollaborating is costing you. But must of all, a leader must be a team player. Potential leaders make colleagues feel valued by showing interest in their ideas. When they disagree, they position their disagreement so as to create the impression that they are building on the ideas of others, not saying that everyone else is wrong. The most effective team players know the importance of encouraging people in order to motivate them to contribute even more. Poor team players do just the opposite.

Employees with leadership potential reduce conflict and disharmony in a team. They know how to get people focused on what they have in common whether it is shared values, shared objectives or the bigger picture. They get people excited about their work by showing enthusiasm and a sense of urgency.

So, do you think you would be a good leader and get the best from your team? What are your thoughts about of how a leader affects a team?

We Need Trust

Teams are made and formed by relationships. The members do not necessarily need to be best buddies or best friends, but two essential elements are important to build a healthy relationship and, therefore, cultivate a good teamwork: trust and respect. Relationships are built over time, when one person has respect for another. Gradually, trust beings to build, too. You don’t have to be a close personal friend with everyone at work, but you do always need to show each person respect and professionalism.

If there is no professional trust among group members, team will never perform at par. At the same time, there must be a balance between being personal and professional to our team members. If we become extremely professional by delegating tasks and demand results with paid for the work done attitude, the team will not work.  We have to use some emotional intelligence and connect with the other employees.

Here are some guidelines to facilitate accountability and build trust among your team:

1. Define duties

2. Be clear with prospective employees during the interview process.

3. Define your expectations in a workplace policy manual.

4. Outline the time commitment and set aside adequate time for each task.

5. Be careful to not overload your staff with too many commitments or too many interruptions.

6. Avoid showing favoritism toward specific team members.

7. Encourage your team members to stand up and lead.

Sincere listening will increase your level of teamwork! To do this, ask questions. Instead of giving direct orders, ask questions to guide your team members to think through issues and come up with their own solutions. You will find that ownership and subsequent responsibility for the task increase when the team member develops the solution. Lastly, value your staff. Reassure your team members that their contribution and leadership does have a huge impact on your company’s growth and survival.

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Are you a team player?

How do you know if you are a team player and a member who can help the improvement of the team. In fact, everyone thinks they’re a team player. But we know that’s not true. Some people are so consumed in their own jobs, they forget to support their team. And let’s face it, it is not easy to be part of a Team.

So, are you really a team player? Or do you just think you are? How about taking a test to find out?!
When taking the quiz, it is important to be honest.  Your answer will show you what areas may need some work.

Read each of the following statements and respond to each by asking yourself if you feel this way:

Most of the Time = Give yourself 3 points
Sometimes = Give yourself 2 points
Never = Give yourself 1 point

1. When I see my teammates struggling, I offer to help no matter how busy I am with my own work.
2. When a task needs to be done and no one else wants to do it, I volunteer.
3. I always offer my opinion but I am willing to compromise for the good of the team.
4. When everyone else is working late on a project I’m involved with, I will usually stick around too.
5. When I receive praise, I am quick to share credit with my teammates.
6. I feel that team goals are just as important as my individual goals.
7. I want to see my fellow team members succeed.
8. I enjoy working with the people on my team.
9. I respect the people on my team and appreciate their unique opinions, perspectives and ways of doing things.
10. I feel that my work is better when I’m working with my team.

Now count your points.

25 to 30 points

Congratulations! You’ve got team work down to a science. You recognize the importance of supporting and contributing to your team. You’ve built some strong relationships, established a reputation for being a hard worker, and you’ve really got your priorities straight. Your teammates certainly appreciate it.

20 to 24 points

Well done! You’re on your way to being a truly strong team player. Right now, you’re a team player some of the time. While that’s perfectly acceptable, it’s not ideal. Your team needs to depend on you. They need to know that you’re a part of the team always. Contributing only occasionally might even be counterproductive. After all, you want to show that you’re a loyal and enthusiastic member, not just a “fair weather” friend.

10 to 19 points

Ok, how do I put this gently…? You probably won’t be voted MVP anytime soon. You might be one of those people who think they’re a team player but really, you’re not quite following through on the actions. You answered “sometimes” or “never” quite a bit on this test. Maybe you’re getting along just fine this way – you’re doing your job and getting things done. But remember that being a part of a strong team can be an incredible asset in the future. You may be doing fine right now, but once you hit a rough patch, where will you be? If you’ve been contributing and supporting your team, they’ll step up and help you when things are tough.

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When Conflicts Come Along

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a discussion, disagreement or conflict with people from your team? Conflicts are pretty common in groups and teams, and are also a great opportunity for the team’s growth when handled appropriately. For this to happen, there are a few steps which are advised not only to managers ans team leaders, but to all the team members, to control and manipulate conflicts getting the positive outcomes of it.

First Step: Recognize and clarify that a conflict exists, determining what is the issue and who is involved. Also, it would be necessary to find out as many details as possible about the issue, as well as hidden facts.

Second Step: Summarize research into a clear, detailed description of the conflict with its variables. At this point, if your company has a human resource department and depending on the conflict, you may want to brief them about the situation. The human resource may have some excellent advice on how to handle the situation or they may need to become involved depending on the circumstances.

Third Step: Research and brainstorm solutions for the situation to find as many alternatives as possible.

Fourth Step: Narrow down the alternatives until you come to the top priority resolution in your mind. The best solution will hopefully respect the rights of all parties and have all parties feeling like winners. The best solution will also provide finality to the situation and result in a better team atmosphere.

Fifth Step: Now all the parties involved in the conflict must be communicated about the steps and actions to be taken, and all must come to a joint acceptance of the solution, or the problem will not be resolved.

Sixth Step: Put the resolution into practice and have a timeline associated for completion. Make sure the solution has been implemented and the desired results achieved.

If you find yourselves at an impasse, return to Step 1 and begin again. Occasionally professional help or that of an objective outsider might be necessary.

I know it seems easy to just give solution steps to problems and hope that it will also be easily solved. In reality it is not really how it works. However, when we face problems, that is the way that should be handled, calmly and realistically. That way the results may come up positively, helping the improvement of the team and its members.