I started Performance Strategies Group, Inc. (PSG) in 1990 with one premise in mind: Teams can improve when communication within the team improves. Teams that work particularly well together get along—they mesh. When teams have a common operating language, they are better able to communicate effectively and accelerate how they talk with and work with each other.
At PSG, our focus is to help organizations create a less stressful work environment where team members can utilize their strengths, capitalize on their differences and improve how they communicate, collaborate and work together. We are here to Help You Master the Art of Working Together.
One of our core values is Make Every Team You are on Better! Great teams need great team players. Here are a few suggestions on how to be a positive force for your team:
Be Self Aware
It starts by being self-aware. Self-awareness is learning, understanding and feeling comfortable in your own DNA. At its core, it is being clear about what you like and don’t like doing. It helps you understand how you will react to situations and events and how those might impact others. The best thing you can do as a leader is become more aware of what motivates you and your decision-making. Self-awareness, I believe, is the key factor in leadership success. But it’s hard work because we all have blind spots. Leaders who can control their own minds and emotions are able to be efficient and deliberate in staying on task while equally being attuned to those they lead.
Show Up Bringing the Full Complement of Your Talents and Energy
The most powerful way you can contribute to your team is by contributing your gifts and talents. Without applying your effort, focus and strengths, the team won’t accomplish all it could achieve. You have a responsibility to listen and offer help when needed. You need to be motivated and resilient. I see people channeling their strengths outside of work and then don’t have the energy to contribute when the team needs it. My advice to those wanting to make an impact: show up, roll up and lift up. Friendliness is great, but fostering team spirit is even greater.
Solve Problems and Jump Over Obstacles
Don’t be a bystander and watch problems fester, have the courage to tackle them head on. I often say, “we are here and we need to get to there.” Help your team see the big picture and then the obstacles, issues and problems become clearer and easier to solve.
Saying, “thank you for your feedback” is something I have been working on for years. It’s not always easy to hear what you did wrong, or how you can improve. If you can learn how to receive feedback then those around you will provide it more and that will have greater impact for your ongoing learning and growth. When everyone can welcome feedback, that stimulates a learning culture. Receiving feedback well is a skill that can be cultivated. A great way to start is by saying, “tell me more, describe that, how do you mean.”
Relationships are the foundation upon which winning teams are built. Being a great team player is about connecting with others. Get to know everyone on your team. Listen to them. Eat with them. Learn about them. Show them you care about them. Invest in being relational.
Mari wrote this article for The West Coast Way August 2021.