Are you a team player?

A team may be defined as a group of persons organized to work together on a particular venture, or two or more persons working together towards a common goal.


In life we are all a part of a team or various teams, whether it is by choice or not. You may be a part of a sporting team or Junkanoo group, etc. competing against others and therefore, you consider yourself as being a part of a team. 


However, your family should also be considered a team, as a member of a civic organization, a church, class or school, or as an employee, you are a member of a team. Within all of these groups, you should all be working towards a common goal.


Whether we want to admit it or not, many of us are selfish beings. We think of “me, myself and I” without giving much thought to the well-being of others. We like to think that we know it all, that our way is always the best way, and no one can do a better job than we can. 


However, being a member of a team requires one to be considerate of others, to be willing to compromise, to be willing to communicate, strategize and solve problems together and genuinely care for the well being of all members on the team for the betterment and growth of the team as a whole. 


As the common saying goes, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” As a team player you should come to realize that it is not all about you as an individual but about the team collectively.


Team is said to be an acronym for, “Together everyone accomplishes more.” Helen Keller is noted as once saying, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” If these sayings are true, why is it that so many people have problems working with others, or why do so many teams fail? 


Often in many organizations, especially in the workplace, there is much diversity; there may be people of different ethnic backgrounds or cultures, people of various beliefs, work ethics, educational status etc. all working together. This can be the source of many problems within the team. 


We must, however, learn to work together, get along with each other, respect each other in spite of our differences and agree to disagree. As members of a team, you don’t have to be best friends or buddies who hang out together all the time, you may not even like an individual on the team but you must be matured enough to be able to communicate and work together for the success of your team. 


A team would fail when individuals on the team think only of themselves, when all members do not play their part, when they fail to recognize the common goal, when there is distrust amongst team members, when there is a lack of communication or when members become insensitive to the needs of others on the team.


Here are some attributes of team players:

They contribute to a positive environment

They focus on what needs to be done rather than personalities

They perform their duties as it relates to the team and understand how it affects the team as a whole

They look out for their fellow team players

They are honest with and trust their team members

They avoid unnecessary conflicts

They concentrate on solutions and not blame

They focus on the goal of the team and not obtaining personal glory

They recognize the achievement and contributions of their fellow team members and commend them.


Take the time to review the above attributes again and decide whether or not you are a team player. If you are not, then learn to become one because as long as you are not living in a vacuum, you are a part of a team. 


Many of the problems that we face in our society today would be solved, if only we as Bahamians can learn to come together and work as a team. No one individual can make an organization, association, community, family or nation work. It takes a collective effort. 


Vince Lombardi, former coach of the Green Bay Packers once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort, that’s what makes a team, a company, a society, and a civilization work.” 


Are you a team player?

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Published  Thursday, February 23, 2017 


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