Category Archives: Team Management

How to be a good team player

A team player is an individual who will unify others for a purpose by exchanging information and ideas and empower them and have trust in them. Teamwork is the potential to work together for a common vision.A good team player assists his team by using his strengths, and clearly understanding his task. He must understand the team’s objectives. He must be supportive and trustworthy. He encourages participative decision-making. He invites new ideas and feedback from other team members. A good team player keeps on working for continuous improvement.

It is immaterial what you do or where you live, since it is your attitude which will determine the quality of your relationships. Hence, this applies to just about everything else in your life. Hence, you need to select your attitudes. And since you are free to choose any attitude, why not choose a Really Useful Attitude.
In order to face any situation, your attitude will always precede you. In fact, it is the central force in your life. It is your attitude which controls the quality as well as the appearance of everything you do.

Really Useful Attitudes which you want to see in others are the ones which you need to imbibe in yourself. Some of these are:

  • Being warm and Enthusiastic when dealing with others. Besides, your Confident and Supportive nature will make you a good team player.
  • A Relaxed as well as an obliging attitude will take you everywhere.
  • A Curious as well as a Resourceful person is liked by all.
  • Make others Comfortable with you and be Helpful towards them.
  • Always have an Engaging and a laid back look about yourself.
  • Be Patient with others and be Welcoming at all times.
  • Have a Cheery and Interested look about yourself.

The Really Useless Attitudes which you need to avoid or even give up completely include:

  • Being Angry or Sarcastic while interacting with others.
  • Having an impatient or bored outlook is also not appreciated by others.
  • Being Disrespectful or Conceited will definitely not make you a good team player.
  • Being Pessimistic or Anxious at all times is a very negative attitude.
  • Never be Rude or Suspicious of others in your team.
  • To be Vengeful or Afraid is a Really Useless Attitude.
  • By being Self-conscious or mocking others, will not lead you anywhere.
  • Having an Embarrassed or Dutiful attitude is also not good.

This was the primary step. This involved Identification of the Problem as well as its perceived Solution.

Next step is the creation of A Personal Action Plan. Answer this simple question – My team can count on me to…

This answer will tell you about your strengths as well as weaknesses. You will know how you are perceived by others. The fact remains that what we perceive ourselves may be different from the way others perceive us.

The next question which you need to answer is the specific changes that you want to see within your team in the next three months. This will define the goals for your team and the way to achieve them.

Next comes the part that you are going to play in achieving those goals. The answer here has to be quantifiable.

The last question which you need to answer is “This is how I will know I have done it.”

Once the matrix is qualitative as well as quantitative, the results become visible to all. This is a good strategy to determine your contribution to your team, as well as to know how good you are as a team player.

To conclude, to be a good team player, one must possess both interpersonal skills as well as technical competencies required to perform their job role. The organization must revise the reward structure so as to boost collaborative and team efforts. Also, the organization should provide training to promote teamwork skills and competencies. A good team player must be flexible in approach. He should be an active listener as well as should remain optimistic. He should communicate effectively. He should be honest as well as loyal and committed to the team. Last but not the least; a good team player must be dependable and reliable. He should meet the targets within specified deadline.

This post came from Management Study Guide

Characteristics to look for when hiring

Characteristics of a high performing team:

  • Collaborative / effective communicator
  • Willing to cross boundaries
  • Work side by side / discuss work out problems real time
  • A lot of face to face communication required
  • Humility – accept feedback
  • Able to compromise / support team decisions
  • Able to reflect back on events and provide insights (critical for retrospectives)
  • Always looking to improve
  • Think about things rather than blinding moving forward…..
  • Pragmatic – Knows what “just” enough is, Do what it takes
  • Adaptive / Flexible – Change direction as required
  • Takes initiative / self motivated
  • Willing to try new things (may be evident by a desire for continuous learning)
  • Can figure out the most important thing to do next. Doesn’t need to be told what to do.
  • Risk tolerant – able to make a decision and act based on the information known
  • Able to work in fast pace / intense
  • Willing to work in a team room – little privacy, very noisy, no prestige
  • Can challenge ideas in a respectful manner
  • Work incrementally – Willing to revisit work
  • Accepting that the big picture will evolve over time

How to detect these characteristics:

  • Behavioural descriptive questions – tell me a time when….give me an example of….
  • Interests / desires may be evidence of the characteristics
  • Informal references from prior projects / peers etc.
  • Auditions – pairing on an activity
  • Trial periods

Taken from Calgary APLN

Dimensions of High Performance

I would say that the two main dimensions of high performance are Ability and Passion.

However, people are complex and they do not fit neatly into boxes; we often experience varying levels of Talent and Passion from the same person on different tasks in the same project or in different projects.

So what is the most important quality? There is no short answer.

Talent seems an obvious first choice, if we need a complex C# application developing, let’s staff it with the best C# resources we can find. Yet Talent is often over-rated in a team environment. Prima-Dona personalities cause friction as their “my-way, or no-way” attitude stifles collaborative decision making. Likewise, an unwillingness to share information either because it is beneath them or they want to maintain their role as expert (a scarcity model for information) limits trust, saps patience and slows the project. Talent is only valuable if coupled with humility, patience and humour. The days of the invaluable maverick, eccentrics within IT were at best short lived and mostly media generated. Software projects are firmly in the knowledge worker domain. People without the requisite skills for collaboration and communication are of limited, short term value.

What about motivation? Here I am talking about attitude and passion for the cause. The right attitude goes a long way towards fostering collaboration, uniting a team, and building a strong platform for sustained high performance work. Obviously they also need Talent/ to be useful to the project. A well meaning unskilled worker can be found a valuable place on a team, but we need a core set of talent to get the job done, solve the technical problems, and help define the vision and architectural direction.

Given the choice I’d choose Motivation over Talent for the majority of the team as long as we have some talented, motivated people on board. The true importance of Motivation surfaces when we experience the impacts of unmotivated workers or those with a bad attitude.  I believe it is more important to act ruthlessly on bad attitude far sooner than poor performance.

The ideas above were taken from a great post, that I trully recomend.

How many volunteers do you have working on your project?

If you have few or none, you are in serious trouble. Here, Mike Griffiths, explains how important is to have motivated team members, how to align the personal to common goals  and finally how to reward them.