Posted by: wingnut650 | August 11, 2008

Taking one for the team

Recently I was able to learn a lesson on the definition of ‘team player’ (in a professional setting).  Until this recent moment in time, I have been working under the definition of team player as “someone that works within a team framework by performing their function to the best of their ability and assists when another part of the team requires said assistance”.  Pretty simple, I guess.  Well, I was really not thinking very deeply about this – and I’m someone that has spent a good number of years on sports teams, business teams, etc., so I feel like I should clearly notice when someone is not playing for the “team”.  Something I try to do when working with any group that is designed to function as a team (especially with my current team, which small, so even EASIER) is to make sure that I’m communicating the activities and initiatives that I have going on with the group.  And there’s where my working definition of ‘team player’ took a nose dive – I never thought to include “and communicates clearly and effectively with the team”.  Wow.  Maybe I’ve just been taking this part for granted and also have been lucky to not have had noticeable issues when a team member did NOT communicate clearly and effectively…that is until the last few weeks.  Then I noticed.  In retrospect, it’s amazing how easy it should have been for this individual to take advantage of very open lines of communication…but didn’t.  This person has left our group, but their inability to (or conscious decision not to) communicate with our team really has left us with some issues – thankfully small – that have been bubbling up over the last few weeks.  If there’s a silver lining to this it’s that the communication aspect of ‘team player’ is now something I will make sure I’m being extremely conscious of – especially with myself.

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