Team Member Handbook for Teamwork
By: Lenora Milligan Salt DPM
Part 2 of 2
Help new teammates make entry.
People come, people go. Turnover can be hard on teamwork. It makes sense to help people succeed, to take pains to keep them. You and your teammates play a key role in this process. Too often, when a newcomer fails to make it in the team, it’s because the team failed the person.
Play down yourself and build up others.
You’ll never build the team by acting like a big shot-you do it by building your teammates. Play the game in such a way that your presence make the others perform at a high level. Be a cheerleader. Offer encouragement. Tell them what a good job they’re doing. Point out their strengths. Catch them doing things right.
Spend time with your teammates.
If your group get together only now and then – say for an hour or so – it doesn’t have crying chance of becoming a close knit unit. It take togetherness for the group to gel as a team. Even though you work side by side with someone, it doesn’t mean you will develop “team integrity.”
Help drive discipline into the group.
In high performance teams, the players police themselves. The people don’t relay on somebody else – for instance, the boss or whoever is in charge – the crack the whip. Team members show superb self-discipline. Individuals hold themselves, and each other, accountable for topnotch results.
Make sure you make a difference.
Just having your name on the roster doesn’t mean you’re earning your keep. Making a difference take more than just showing up, doing only enough to by or merely going through the motions. Staying busy is no big deal either. You need to do what counts. Often the top performer isn’t the most talented person on the team, but the person who puts our the most effort.
Give attention to group process.
Things are always going wrong when people work together in groups. And even when things are going right, a sharp eye can often find ways for them to go a lot better. Pay attention to what’s going on inside your group, and you’ll see problems there that need fixing.
Help create a climate of trust.
The “growing season” for trust is when people are being tested – in matter big or small. Only then do you get a chance to really prove anything. Will you keep your work? Do you honor your commitments? Are you consistent? Dow you play fair? Can others count on you to “be there”-hanging tough under fire, helping out when the need you, putting yourself at risk for the sake of the team?
Strengthen the leader through good follower-ship.
No leader is good enough to take a team to high performance if the team members are lousy followers. What’s involved in follower-ship? Initiative. Know what to do without being told, and do it. Think for yourself. Good followers are people who lead themselves. It requires that you align your efforts with the rest of the group. Commit yourself to the team’s common goals. Don’t drift off in another direction and splinter the group. It also requires that you work to strengthen the leader. Show your support and empower that person.
Be a good sport.
Have a sense of fair play. Show respect for others, rather than putting them down, finding fault, or promoting yourself at their expense. Humility fits into the picture too. Don’t brag or get a big head when you do well. Be big enough to ask for help when you need it, admit your mistakes, and say “I’m sorry” when appropriate. Learn to take criticism without taking it personally.
(The team member handbook for teamwork by Price Pritchett)
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