Being a Team Player
The season of flower bouquets, chocolate truffles, and heart-shaped candies is right around the corner, with Valentine’s Day coming up this week, we think that makes it the perfect time to continue February’s focus on Teamwork by discussing how to be a team player. Afterall, teamwork is all about the relationship between all the members of the team!
As a reminder from earlier this month, each individual on the team has to be able to work together well in order to succeed. Naturally, that means that team members should create and maintain a positive and friendly relationship with all of their teammates. Working to improve and sustain the connections between each member is a great strategy of a team player. But how exactly does one become a better team player?
Well, there are countless skills and character traits that can be developed in order to become more valuable to your team, but there are 3 main skills that everyone should practice in order to become a great team player!
These 3 skills are essential for building the links between all members of a team, and are especially important for children to learn. Oftentimes, kids may struggle to find their place on a team, but the solution to helping them overcome this obstacle lies in these three traits! So, let’s dive right into it.
Skill 1 of being a great team player is to be responsible and accountable for your actions. Because of the interdependent (remember what that means?) nature of teams, each member bears their own responsibility. Since each individual relies on all the other teammates to do their work, and vice versa, being responsible is a great way to help out your team. It is certainly step 1 of being an awesome team player. Think about it this way: if a member of the team was not pulling their weight, can they be a team player?
Keep in mind that responsibility also means that you can be counted on. When your teammates need you, you are right there to support them in any way you can. When other members of the team feel they can count on you, that builds trust, which will undoubtedly increase the camaraderie within the team.
Think about all the different teams you are on, and the responsibilities that come with being on them. What things do your teammates count on you for? What do you count on your teammates for?
Skill 2 of being a great team player is all about communication. Effective communication comes down to the ability to send clear, concise, and consistent messages that unite the team, and assist the team’s ability to be successful. Constant communication between team members is extremely important, because interaction fuels action. The more teammates communicate effectively, the more the synergy of the team improves!
However, be careful, because clear communication is important, as well. Sending too many messages, or communicating unclear or confusing ideas can actually harm the team. Remember, the goal of communication is to unite the team through interaction. Moreover, lack of communication can be just as damaging. Members need to know what’s going on, and if communication is subpar, that will prevent the team from working at its full capacity.
Think about the communication between your teams. Are messages clear and concise? Is there constant communication? How does it feel when the whole team is united through communication?
The 3rd skill of becoming a fantastic team leader is compromise. Now, that doesn’t mean that every decision made by the team has to be a compromise, but it does mean to be open minded if needed. A compromise is when all parties involved in making a decision must give up something in order to get something that benefits the whole team. In other words, you give a little and you get a little.
In a team environment, many decisions will need to be made, and each member of the team may have their own thoughts and opinions on how the team should proceed. In situations like these, it is essential to be prepared to have to compromise if other members of the team have differing ideas. If something is not going your way, or if you disagree with the way things are being done, avoid heated arguments. Instead, engage in a discussion that ends in a compromise where everyone can meet in the middle and mutually benefit.
Arguments between members can cause the relationship to decline, and potentially even become negative. Needless to say, that would not be good for the team. Instead, discussions promote active listening, and make all individuals feel heard. Additionally, reaching a compromise requires working as a team in the first place. Being willing to compromise to reach a group decision is sure to build strong connections between teammates, and make everyone a better team player.
Think about a compromise you made recently. What did you compromise? Why did you choose to make a compromise? How did that benefit the entire team?
In Our Classes…
In our classes this week, we will be continuing our character talks about teamwork by teaching our students about how to be effective team players. We will introduce these three skills to them, and help them develop them through focused team drills and games. Furthermore, we will remind them that everyone in each class is a team, and apply the three team player skills to our own school. When students walk onto the floor, they join a team of awesome individuals where everyone relies on everyone else in order to be successful. Our goal is to help our students develop these skills in order to improve their connections with other team members, and in turn grow up to become the best team players!
In conclusion, being a team player comes down to the three skills we discussed this week: responsibility, communication, and compromise. In order to be a team player, you must be able to be counted on to do your part of the work, have clear communication with others, and be willing to compromise to benefit the group. It is important for everyone, especially kids, to understand and develop these traits, that way we can all become better team players!
What does being a team player mean to you?
What other skills are important for being a team player?