Now that we have been working from home (WFH) for the same time it takes to make a baby (GASP!), AND that we are entering into the new year, now is a good time to reflect on the year and your ability to be a good team player during these tough times.
- Set aside some time. Block off some time in your calendar to do this work. I have rarely seen it done well in between Zoom calls!
- Take a look at your organization or team’s performance standards for being a “good team player” or other similar performance criteria. Look at the situation from your supervisor’s and team members’ perspectives. Chances are, those criteria were written before 2020, so you may want to chat with your supervisor about these criteria and how they have morphed over the year.
- Read through the criteria (and amendments!) and ask yourself: What am I doing well? Acknowledge your strengths (yes, there are some!). Be sure to continue and reinforce what is working well. (Note: do NOT gloss over this step. Be thoughtful and honest with yourself. Give credit where credit is due).
- Next, take a look at what you could do differently. Are there some behaviors you could start doing or do better? If in doubt, ask your teammates for some honest feedback on your team performance.
- Identify three things that you could do to enhance your team skills. Then build a small action plan to put these ideas in place. For example, you discover that you don’t ask others for their opinions. You decide that you want to start asking others for their opinions — especially after you offer an opinion. You decide on the following actions:
- Craft several questions to ask (“what do you think about…”).
- Review the action plan before all team meetings.
- Make a concerted effort to ask for their opinions.
- Review how you did after the meeting.
Unfortunately, many organizations do not have established performance criteria. If this is the case, you may want to ask your team to agree on what makes a good team member. You may even find some guidelines in the team’s ground rules, operating norms, or guiding principles.
6. Finally, make a commitment to follow your plan. You’ll be surprised at how just a few actions can improve your teamwork!
For more information about how to lead your team in the virtual environment, use these resources.
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF | Master, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.
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