Too often, what we are looking for from our teammates is recognition, praise, and affirmation, when really we should be looking for them to add value.
Here’s a test:
When you send a document around to your teammates for their review, do you hope they:
a) Forward it to all their friends as an example of the best document they’ve ever read in their 27 year career
b) Rush to your desk and throw their arms around you proclaiming how lucky they are to get to work with someone as smart as you
c) Identify the typos and errors in your document and make a few high impact suggests for how to make it stronger
I realized a while ago that I was guilty of looking for praise instead of progress. I would send something out, often way too close to the due date and cross my fingers that everyone would think it was great. I realized that when I did that, I was pretty much hoping that my teammates would be useless. How lame is that?
I have reformed. Now, when I send something to my teammates, instead of craving their love and affection, what I really crave is their diverse opinions, their unique perspectives, and their ideas that will make my work so much better.
Amazingly, we all feel smarter, more valuable, more loved, and more like a team as a result.
Next time you share something with a teammate…ask yourself what you are really looking for.