Being a Great Teammate — #SH302

by | Feb 2, 2020 | 0 comments

6 min read

Super Bowl Sunday

This Sunday, approximately 100 million people will sit in front of their television to watch the Kansas City Chiefs battle the San Francisco 49ers for Super Bowl LIV. Whether you watch the game because you love the gridiron competition or you simply enjoy the fun commercials, one element of the show to consider is the power of teamwork. Teams who win possess certain qualities that set them apart, and it’s those qualities that allow them to rise above the rest.

The team that wins the big game will no doubt function on a superior level, as a single unit, beating their counterpart, even if it’s by a slim margin. A group of talented players and the greatest coaches of all time don’t win due to their skills or experience alone. Winning is always the result of the formation of a team coming together to create something exceptional. It’s the dedication to each other and a common vision that delivers results. As Vince Lombardi once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort: that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

The Greatest Teams of All Time 

The greatest teams of all time experience synergy and trust, which allows each individual to function at their highest level of expression. These teams provide the platform for each person to contribute their best, and each individual brings something to the team to create that platform. This month, rather than just focusing on the power of teamwork, we’re diving into how leaders function as great teammates. Teamwork is critical in any organization, but it starts with the skills and attributes that we each of us brings to the table. So, ask yourself this: are you a good teammate?

Your Reflection 

To answer the question, think of someone who you work with on a team, either at work or another area of your life. Imagine yourself in their shoes, evaluating your team-approach through their eyes. We want you to be introspective, but not through the traditional self-reflection that we use to judge our own actions and behaviors. Instead, assess how effective you are as a teammate from your colleagues’ perspective. The challenge in this is that it requires you to reframe your thinking to truly see your contributions to the team from someone else’s lens.

To take this one step further, use the model below. The five points illustrate the qualities necessary for teams to work together to achieve success. Great teams prepare exceptionally well, they have a shared vision, collaborate openly and candidly with one another, seek synergy, and build trust. How do you see yourself in each area as you step outside of your own perspective and look through the context of your coworkers? 

Use the following reflection questions within each aspect of the model to evaluate yourself as a teammate. Again, think of one person who you can use as a conduit to a new prospect about your leadership. As you uncover your strengths and weaknesses, we’ll take the rest of this month to find resources and experiences to fill your gaps and strengthen your skills.

#1: Prior Preparation–What would this colleague say about how well you prepare for meetings? Do you show up on time with your notes and materials ready or are you late and empty handed? 

#2: Shared Vision–Do you embrace the vision of the team and the organization or do you find opportunities to gripe and minimize the work? Do you emulate the core values or do your behaviors deviate from the expectations? 

#3: Collaborative Spirit–Would she say that you are a terrific collaborator who respects the ideas of others or would she say that you dominate the airtime when you meet? Do you ask questions to seek a common understanding or do you take the stage alone? 

#4: Synergized Efforts–Do you take forever to get into a groove or does working together seem effortless? When you meet, does it result in new and different ideas or do you stick to your perspective about the work? 

#5: Strong Trust–Would she say that you’re open to sharing thoughts and taking risks? Is her outlook that you’re vulnerable or guarded? Are you candid with your words or do you hold back your thoughts? 

Being a Great Teammate 

Being a great teammate is not easy. It requires us to excel as an individual but also to take the appropriate measures to keep our teammates in mind as well as the goals of the group. Despite the challenge of teamwork, it’s far more rewarding and effective than working alone. When we can be a great team player, not only do we find more success, we’re invited to join more-and-more new and different teams because of our reputation as leaders. To help you lead better and grow faster as a teammate, we’ll use this entire month to explore how you can contribute to your team more than you ever have before. Follow the site or check back for more. 

That’s this month’s model for teamwork and evaluating yourself from the lens of a coworker, someone who sees your contribution to the team. Remember, a key characteristic of great leaders is self-reflection. At the highest level of self-reflection, we find ourselves looking inward from the perspective of how others experience us. Seeing that from the vantage point of teamwork is critical to learning how to be the best contributor that you can possibly be. Stay tuned for challenges, nuggets of wisdom, reflection questions, and the best resources for leading better and growing faster. Follow us at to join thousands of leaders who get our alerts, blogs, podcasts, and more.

Let us know what you think of this #SH302 post with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCould. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Joe & T.J.


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