I love team dynamics and organizational structures. I have written many times about what makes a healthy team, my expectations of team members, and elements to build health into your team.
But how does a great team member perform on a team? How do great team members act on the team—what makes them valuable?
7 ways Great Team Members Perform on a Team:
They need little supervision.
They catch on quickly, learning the expectations of the team, has confidence in his or her ability and knows the vision of the organization well enough to make routine decisions. They attempt to figure out problems and ask specific questions when something is unclear. This saves everyone's time and speeds progress. A great team member follows through on what they committed to do with limited oversight. They don't need a "boss" because they are truly part of a team. "Let's get it done together!"
They add to the overall team spirit.
A great team member knows there is work to do as a team and limits the drama that comes from working with people. They aren't known for gossip, back-stabbing or pouting when things aren't going as they would have them. Everyone has bad seasons, and a good team is there to assist during those times, but a great team member doesn't allow their personal life doesn't impact their professional life on a daily basis. They are known to improve team spirit rather than detract from it.
They remain flexible.
The work of a team requires synergy from all members. Sometimes one team member carries unequal weight for a season. Great team members are flexible to pick up slack from others. They do what needs doing. They don't participate or foster "turf wars."
Not to take anything away from fair compensation, but the great team player does the work to see the results of a project done well. Their key motivation is achieving the agreed upon goal of the team. They love their work—even more the work of the team—and they are motivated to celebrate when the team succeeds.
They consider the interests of the entire team.
Great team members are good listeners. They value others on the team. They are humble enough to look out for the good of the entire team. They aren't self-serving. They want what is best for everyone, even if that means having to personally sacrifice for the win of the team.
They add intrinsic value to the team
Great team members add something to the team no one else brings. They know themselves and allow their strengths to shine through hard work and dedication to the vision, providing a unique value to the entire team.
They demonstrate loyalty in action
No one questions the loyalty of a great team member. They are "on board" with the vision, supportive of the leadership and direction of the organization, and committed unless something unforeseen takes them away from the team.
Of course, I forgot the one about bringing homemade snacks occasionally for the break room, but I'll save that for another post.
It also bears mentioning it is difficult to be a great team member without a great team environment and a great team leader. I get that. I have, however, known some great team members who served on a dysfunctional team. And I've seen one great team member help transform an unhealthy team.
I'm confident there are plenty more ways a great team member performs on a team. Feel free to add to my list. I'd love to hear from you.
In your experience, what does a great team member do on a team?
Ron Edmondson is the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.
This article originally appeared at ronedmondson.com.
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