What kind of player are you at work?
Sometimes we get to work alone, and other teams we are tasked to work things out in a team effort. But how do you know you are being the best player on that team effort? Sometimes it can be hard to tell, where other people just know it works because you can see and feel the energy and results pouring out.
A small example I can offer from my home life is that of my wife and I.
We have a 13-month old son and he wakes up in the middle of the night. It would be really easy for me to pretend I am sleeping heavy and not get up with her, but I know that working together we can get him to sleep much easier and faster. But what role do I play? It took us a little while to figure this out. We both tried doing different tasks that came with a not sleeping child at 3 a.m.
What we came to realize is that I am the prepper, and she delivers. My role in this team effort is to make sure his room is ready for when he goes to sleep. Defuser. Dim lighting. Bottle or bottles ready. Blankets ready. Crib sheet dry and clean. Toys put away. Diapers stocked…and so on. When 3 a.m. rolls around, I get up with my wife, she changes the diaper and I get a bottle ready. She feeds him in the glider, and I take a minute to throw away the dirty diaper and refill the defuser along with passing her a blanket and his favorite stuffed animal to snuggle up with once he’s done inhaling. After mere minutes, he is back asleep and gently laid in his crib – and we exit.
This small example is how we tackle a job at home that requires both of us knowing our parts. If we didn’t, we would be fumbling around and getting frustrated, and our child would probably throw a fit and not go back to sleep.
Changing gears – we all play roles of a team player at work too. Sometimes directly, and sometimes indirectly. But what we ought to think about is what outcome do we have when we play the role we are in? Is it productive? Does the team tend to accomplish what’s needed on time? Are you lacking the right motivation or are the deadlines feeling too large? Whatever the answer is, I challenge you to analyze your actions within a team atmosphere next week and see for yourself how well you perform. And, if you’re the boss, perhaps seeing that some of your employees might be better off in a different role. Not because they can’t do the job, but because they could do something else a whole lot better. If they already are in the right role, encourage and reward to sustain a great working atmosphere. A pat on the back of acknowledgment goes a long way to empowering a team environment.
These are my thoughts for the day.