Becoming a Team Player Will Benefit Your Professional Career

The demanding environment in most companies has forced people to become better performers and team players.

In today's companies the need for high performers is much needed. The demanding environment in most companies has forced people to become better performers and team players. Work teams have become the norm in many companies. "Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results". (Andrew C.) Not many working people are measured on their individual abilities as much as he or she is on the team abilities. Becoming a strong part of a team is important in today's workplace. Building a high performing team is a tool that will advance any company from where they are today.

A strong leader is one of the first needs in building a high-performance team. Every group must have someone that can direct and keep the team focused. The leader should not over direct or take away from the team individuality. The leader has to think as a team and not as the leader. Peter Drucker stated: "The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say "I." And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say "I." They don't think "I." They think "we"; they think "team." They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but "we" gets the credit.... This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done". The leader is to make sure the team stays headed in the right direction. The leader should also be prepared to intervene to resolve conflict. The team leader has to instill in the rest of the team the common goals and the urgency of meeting deadlines. If the leader can get everyone headed for the same goal, this will be the best step forward.

A high-performance team must have high standards in which they want to achieve. A person who sets high goals for themselves will always have high standards. Finding people with this drive will be very beneficial to the team. But not all members have to have this. With enough push from the over achievers all will follow.

Creating a sense of urgency in the team members is also needed. Everyone on the team must understand the deadlines and why these deadlines need to be met. This is where a clear set of rules needs to be developed. Every member must understand what is to be achieved and on what date. The understanding of what part each member will play is also important. An overview of a project and direction in the first meeting will get this started in the proper direction.

The team must be tasked oriented and be willing to take on individual tasks to better the team. The direction of each member is critical for the team to get to the team stated goal. Each member will take individual tasks and all these tasks put together will accomplish a team task. This builds the mutual dependence of each other. All members must be dependent upon the rest of the members of the team. Without this the team splits apart and goes in different directions.

Diversity of the team will create the best results but will also be harder to manage. Cultural differences, age differences, gender differences and behavioral differences will always make a team well rounded. Working through all these differences will take time but the results will be well worth it. Getting the team comfortable with each other and working together will be the first drawback of a diverse team. Once a diverse team gets past this point then the benefit of this diversity starts to enhance the team. This diversity will increase creativity and a broader perspective of the project. Having different perspectives, task driven members, well planned direction and a strong leader the team will headed in the right direction.

The leader has to understand how to use the diversity of each individual to enhance the team. He also has to allow for the wide perspectives to be considered. Getting true participation of each member and getting them to understand his or her role will be the most important task the leader will have. Getting the diversity out of the team members is what is wanted. A team that thinks alike, acts alike and performs alike will not be the high performers.

Once a team gets past any differences and starts to understand each other, a synergy will begin to start. Each member will understand each others strengths and weaknesses and begin to flow as a team. This synergy is what a leader is trying to create. A team with this type of synergy is not easily developed. This is how a high-performance team is developed. Each project may need different attributes of different members. Companies with a diverse workforce and knowledge of this diversity can benefit in creating different teams for different projects. This is probably one of the greatest benefits of a diverse workforce.

One of the final pieces to include in a high-performance team is some type of reward. There has to be something at the end of the project to motivate the members to accomplish these goals. This does not have to be monetary but has to be something everyone will recognize as a benefit. Receiving recognition of being part of the team and upper management knowing their part may be enough for some.

High-performance teams are needed in most companies and being part of a team like this will always be a benefit to each member. All members can learn from each other and all members can learn a great deal from the diversity found in these types of teams. Experience in this environment is a great experience. Most companies today have a team environment and fitting into this is a benefit to all.


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Rachel Ellis
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Posted on Aug 5, 2009
Charlene Collins
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Posted on Jul 23, 2009