The present and future of all work is collaboration.
Nothing worth doing, can be done alone! And you already know that, because you’re part of a team and have been for some time. But the real question to ask yourself, is whether you are a good team player? Are you an asset to the team or a liability?
Are you the millstone around everybody’s neck or the wind beneath their wings?
And since self awareness is not everyone’s cup of tea, here’s an easy checklist to help you determine whether you are someone that you would like to see on your own team.
You’re part of a lunch gang!
Teams that eat together, work together. And in most offices, there are typically groups of people that have lunch together, that herd each other at a common lunchtime to the cafeteria or share treats from home or check in with each other about what everyone would like to eat if it is being ordered in at work.
Are you part of such a gang? And if not, is it because you have refused an invite once too many times or do you just have a problem with some of the other people who are part of the gang & don’t like to hang out with them?
Think about it. You could be your own worst enemy.
People come to you for help!
Are you the go-to person for a specific kind of problem for your team members, related perhaps to your area of expertise or your network or because of a particular skill set that you have?
Teams generally have self designated experts in various things who they leverage in times of need. And if you’re someone that no one prefers to approach for any help despite having a solid set of noticeable skills, then you may have a problem that you’re not aware of.
You feel welcomed when you come to work.
Vibes are real. Our instincts are generally sound in terms of picking up situations where we feel hostile vibes. And if you feel uneasy or unwelcome when you reach work in the morning, then that’s something you should pay attention to and which should warn you that all is clearly not well.
Do conversations quiet down when you enter the room or are you gaily invited to join the fun? Do people forward you jokes that are doing the rounds in office or are you the one who turns around around glaring when the laughter gets too loud?
Pay attention because these are all situations that give us a heads up on how we are perceived at work.
Are you assigned group work?
Ever noticed that your boss generally assigns certain projects to certain groups of people and assigns various tasks that are solo in nature to some other people?
What do you get? Have you ever noticed and wondered why that is?
Most team leaders – the good ones anyway – know who are the team players and who are the solo performers and assign work accordingly. So if you’re consistently assigned work that requires you to contribute alone, it may indicate that you don’t play well with others. And that’s something to think about because that’s a reputation that you don’t want to be stuck with!
So what are you?
I hope this quick 4-point checklist has given you a back-of-the-envelope insight into your working style. It’s absolutely true that the workplace needs both team players and solo contributors. And that you may be the latter. And that’s absolutely alright.
But even if you are, it’s important , no essential, to know how to share the sandbox if you have to, as these are all skills that will come in handy at various stages of your work life! The last thing you need is to slip a rung down the ladder of success because of a set of skills that you could have cultivated but didn’t!
Do you agree with the checklist above? Let me know!