In company cultures, "team" is a common word.
But what does it really mean to be part of a team in today's workplace? How do you work as a team player?
There is an evolution taking place in work environments today. Lines are being blurred in the segmentation of workers. Managers and Directors are becoming Project Leaders.
For the time-being through pandemic phases, work from home offices are commonplace. But everyone remembers their open work spaces and conference rooms with glass walls, and many expect they will be revisited. In the meantime, virtual communications can make it easier to have a sense of team work and team play.
Transparency is key when working as a team. Each employee - or player - has an assigned role that contributes to the goal of the team. Sounds a little like baseball or football, doesn't it?
By definition, a team player:
When a company department acts as a team, work doesn't stop - the ball doesn't get dropped - just because one player drops out for a time. It's an effective concept, but how does this relate to etiquette?
When you demonstrate and practice etiquette, you place concern for others first in a given situation, while remaining true to yourself. Though carrying through with your assigned roles in a work environment and being polite and courteous is important, it does not qualify you as a team player.
A team player takes on the equivalent of hosting roles. That is, regardless of the role you play, you help create an atmosphere of good will. You greet others, make everyone feel welcome, and are observant when it comes to others' needs. You don’t hesitate to share information and help direct when necessary.
In this sense, members of the team share in leadership. They also:
Employers are looking for people who are capable of working in a cooperative environment. This trend is sure to continue as companies shift toward a more "open" work culture.
A productive member of a team earns a good reputation over time. Regardless of the speed at which you advance or succeed in your job, or even move on to other opportunities, the ability to function well in your group will bring positive recognition.
Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It's about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others' success, and then standing back and letting them shine.
~ Chris Hadfi