Are You “REALLY” a Team Player?

With both families and businesses teams win more often, get more accomplished and make better decisions than do individuals.

Everyone when asked, says they are a team player but what is a team player really? You approach each day with your to-do list and try to get as much done as you can. What you prioritize will largely depend on what you want to accomplish or a deadline you need to hit which was introduced by someone else, not always by your boss or partner.

You scramble trying to hit your deadlines and to fulfill the wants and needs of the people around you only to find that the level of pressure only seems to go up. You get things done, but everything seems to get done with no time to spare. For some reason it seems a lot harder than it should be and the level of stress in the organization or family seems to grow. People stop getting along, conversations become tense and deadlines start to be missed.

Chances are, you and/or the people you work with or in your family are not actually working as a team. When people are under pressure, they tend to gravitate towards whatever activity will bring their own stress level down. People gravitate into stovepipes where they only focus on what’s their assigned job or immediate task and no more. You will hear people hanging on to excuses like “I’m way too busy to help”, or “That’s not really my job”, or “I shouldn’t be doing this, but…” and they stop worrying about the big picture all together and just focus on their own list of tasks.

To know if you are “REALLY” a Team Player, you need to understand how a team should function. An entire book could be written about this topic and many already have been, but lets look at what being on a team really means.

The definition of a team is… “a group of people that come together to achieve a common goal”. Synonyms: join (forces), collaborate, get together, work together…

By this definition, for a team to really function as a team they must not only have a common goal or goals, but also all be working in harmony to achieve them. They prioritize the team goal above their personal goals. This might mean putting their own work aside, working on something other than they want to or missing one of their own deadlines, all in the interest of the team meeting their goals.

People working as a team will jump in to help each other without being asked to. They will prioritize their work based on team requirements instead of what makes their life easier and most of all, everyone on the team will have the attitude “We either ALL succeed, or we ALL fail – together”.

The clue to whether you are really a team player comes out when you are super busy and stressed out. Do you still prioritize your work for the good of the team, or do you gravitate to getting whatever you can done to make your life easier?

So I ask you… Are you REALLY a Team Player? If not, then maybe it’s something you and your group should work towards as when you work as a team you will get more done, the quality of work will be better and your relationships will grow. It truly is a win-win situation.

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