What Kind of Teammate Are You?

One of the themes that comes up in all of our leadership communication workshops is the concept of “how to be a good teammate.” People always seem interested in the steps towards being a better leader and a better teammate. People always seem to want to hear “first do this… then do this… then do this…” People like specific steps, and information that can be saved in lists.

But the first step towards being a great person to work with has nothing to do with any specific action. It is not about anything you might do. It has everything to do with what is going on inside you. Being a great leader, a great follower or a great teammate starts with caring about other people. You have to enjoy seeing people succeed. You have to care what they think. You have to want to hear what they have to say. You have to be comfortable sharing credit and not making it all about you.

There are lots of things you have to do to be a good teammate, and those specific actions may differ a bit depending on where you sit on the organizational chart. But regardless of where you sit in the organization, being great to work with starts with taking an interest in other people, being able to control your own ego and not have to make everything all about you. If you can do that, if you can control the ego, and if you can really care about the success of others, you now have the opportunity to be a great teammate and a great leader. Then, and only then, can we have a meaningful conversation about the specific steps you can take to be a great teammate. But without first having the proper attitude, the specific steps and actual behaviors won’t matter.

So, ask yourself… what kind of teammate are you? For today’s discussion, I think there are three ways to categorize teammates: You are either: the type of colleague who either legitimately cares about the success of others; or the type who doesn’t really care but knows you should, so you fake it; or the type that just doesn’t care at all. We could probably make it more complicated than that, but let’s keep it simple today.

What kind of teammate are you? Be honest.

Have a great day.

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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One response to “What Kind of Teammate Are You?”

  1. Derick Nicholas says:

    First class discussion! I compliment you one more time. BUT, and there always is a “but” isn’t there. Your discourse this morning “being a good team member” moves into the personality, and character realm, no doubt the guts of communication after all is said and done, but oh, my , fraught with quick sand and pitfalls just as much as what constitutes a good leader is also a tricky conversation, doomed to conviction and hunch. Name your study. Are both leader and “good team member” born or made, the old and battered curmudgeon’s sigh, or what combination there of?

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.