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3 C's of a Great Team Player

posted Aug 13, 2018, 9:14 AM by Lee Barnett

During a coaching session with a business owner, we began to discuss issues of accountability, communication and transparency within her team. One issue that arose was that some professionals (especially salespeople) prefer not to share their numbers or their successful methods due to perceived competition. That conversation led to this overly simple yet very applicable breakdown.

Great Team Players Are:

Collegial: In order to work as a team we must choose to relate as a team. Just as every athlete wants to score the winning point, our team members want to be the one with the big win. Everyone has a part to play and every part must be viewed as valuable. The lesson is that each point scored means nothing if the team loses. We must find a way to work out our differences for the good of the team. The focus must be on the shared vision and mutual success.

Collaborative: If we are a team, even a loosely organized team, we must share ideas and resources in order to succeed. We cannot win if we don't share the responsibility and workload. While there may be some personal ideas and plans that we hold back, we should never hold back skills, ideas or resources that benefit the team as a whole. It doesn't matter how great you perform if the company goes under--you will still be unemployed.

Compassionate: OK, at first this may seem out of place but let me explain. We all have bad days. We all have struggles. Sometimes we are hard to get along with. In order for a team to reach its full potential, we must learn to bear with each other in the bad days. This is not a call to be a doormat or to enable bad behavior but simply a call to employ the Golden Rule. You don't have to become best friends with your teammates but you should work hard to get along. Treat people well and be especially nice and supportive when your coworkers are obviously struggling--they will return the favor later.

This is not an exhaustive list but is a great place to start. The beauty of this approach is that you really can control the progression. Only you can decide to put these C's into practice. Take it slow and let each characteristic develop bit by bit; it will become more natural later. Be warned that once you begin acting like a true team player others may follow suit and it will become the new expected normal for your team.