See the big picture, don’t hog the limelight and nine other important things all great team-players know
If you keep in mind that the purpose of a team is to come together to do or achieve something, you’ll never go wrong. Unless you’re selfish that is. Selfish people don’t do well in teams. In fact, selfish people don’t do well any place where the needs of others must be considered.
If you’re the sort that tends to look out for number one and likes to get ahead of others whatever it takes, you won’t last long in any job where teamwork skills are prized.
Teamwork is about working for a cause greater than yourself. However, few people realise that teamwork remains important whether you work with others or alone. Most of us are still part of a team even if we don’t physically work with others.
Great team-players know how to keep the big picture in mind
Recently, a friend of mine had a sales man over to quote to replace some windows. The sales man was quite nice until my friend said, ‘Give me a couple of days to think about it.’ Well, that got that sales man in a right huff and puff when he realised he weren’t getting the sale there and then. He became rude and stormed off. My friend called the head office who were very apologetic. The customer services lady, who was both kind and clued up, said, ‘He’s forgotten that this isn’t just about him; a whole lot of other people depend on him including fitters, surveyors and helpline staff.’
That sales man had forgotten that although he works alone he is still part of a team, and his behaviour affects each member. Our behaviour affects both team members and colleagues – they can miss out too. Great team-player skills go a long way.
Great team-players know not to hog the limelight
People who walk into group interviews or join companies and then try to make themselves stick out at the expense of others don’t do well. Great team-players know they’ll get rejected if they do that.
Sports teams can teach us a lot about team spirit. While waiting in a business reception area where the television set was on I watched the England Rugby team members lift a player high into the air and then cheer loudly when he managed to grab the ball. Those players had nothing in mind but their common aim. They forgot about being individuals and acted like a single entity. It wasn’t about any one person hogging the limelight.
Great team-players know how to:
- Work his best to get his part of the task done
- Work for the good of the whole and never for himself
- Listen to the views of other members
- Help other members of the team even if it’s inconvenient for him
- Avoid actions that impose upon or reflect badly on others
- Congratulate another team member who does well
- Encourage and motivate fellow members who aren’t doing well
- Share ways he can help other members work effectively or shine in their area
- Guard against egotistical and know-it-all attitudes
Finally, great team-players know how to avoid making the same mistake as that window sales man mentioned earlier. He or she understands that teamwork is, in a nutshell, about considering others. Demonstrate this on your CV and during interviews and you will do well.