Highly empowered and effective teams are the key to compete in today’s world of high technology processes, six sigma quality, and continuous innovation. We all have roles in our organizations but it is the power of teamwork that makes our endeavors successful. It takes everyone working together on a common goal to be successful in Lean. Teams are the engines that deliver successful process improvements.
We’ve all been told the cliché that there is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM.’ That boils down to the type of teammates we’re surrounded by. Teams need strong team players to perform well. But what does it take to be a part of a team? Here are 10 traits to become a better team player.
This is my No. 1 attribute to being a good team player. It should never be “me, me, me” or “I, I, I” but instead always be “we” or “us.” Every employee should be asking, “What can I bring to my team?” as opposed to “What can the team bring me?”
If we’re focused on individual goals all the time, we're not going to achieve anything as a whole. Instead, focus on team-oriented goals, even if one of those goals is that we all get better individually.
This means communicating with your managers and your colleagues. Technology is a wonderful thing, and it serves a lot of purposes, but a lot of times we rely on it too much. Put the phone down and talk face-to-face with your colleagues. Have a conversation with them. That can translate to better communication in the office, which is key to any successful team. Regular communication fosters collaborative interactions among leaders, stakeholders, and practitioners at all levels.
Accountability is an agreement to be held to account for some result. You can assign accountability between yourself and others, but responsibility can only be self-generated.
Everyone is afraid to make mistakes, and people don’t want to be labeled the guy who makes mistakes, but we need to let it be known that it’s OK to fail a bit. It’s OK to make these mistakes and own up to them. Be accountable.
Passion is the driving force that enables people to attain far more than they ever imagined. Your energy is contagious and is easily shared. Passion will bridge moments of weakness, and will drive you past your failures while reaching for your goals. Passion radiates from you and is easily detected by others.
It’s important to have confidence in yourself, but it’s more important to have confidence in your colleagues and your managers. Have confidence that your team members will bring their best to the team, and have confidence that together you will have great success.
Have confidence in your leader to bring the group together as a team and confidence in his or her leadership.
6. Be Respectful
No matter where you come from, or what your differences are, you have a common bond in that you’re on the same team. You have to put aside any differences that you might have and respect that person. Showing respect in the workplace is all about the relationship we develop with other people and how we value them. You guys are trying to achieve a common goal. You have to respect your colleagues enough to get there. You can’t be pulling in different directions on the rope.
This has everything to do with trusting that your colleagues are going to do the right thing. Sometimes you see some colleagues trying to do too much or do someone else’s job, and they’re eventually hurting the team in general. Trust people to do their best and trust them to do it right. Allow them to make mistakes without retribution.
8. Positive Attitude
Having the right attitude can make the difference between success and failure. A positive attitude can motivate other people to change their negative thinking and come over to your side. Everything is possible with right attitude behind you to push you forward.
You need to be a reliable person. It’s being committed to part of the team and buying in to what the team is doing. When you don’t show up, you’re letting the team down in a sense. You want to be that guy to rely on to show up and work hard every time.
10. Have Fun
Getting energized about work usually results from a couple things. Primarily if a work culture is fun to be in, it’s a place you look forward to going because the people (and leadership) are authentic, caring and fun. And teams that are energized with what they are doing get excited by the opportunities that a day may bring.
Organizations that cultivate a culture of teamwork generally outperform their more individualistic competitors. Frequently, this leads to a virtuous cycle of self-improvement, as success breeds enthusiasm, which breeds better teamwork, which breeds yet more success. For this reason, teamwork is important for creating a healthy, prosperous organization.