Even if you’re the most conscientious, friendly, and collaborative person around, you probably did something today that detracted from the effectiveness of your team. Find at least one of these that you can work on to make tomorrow a better day than today.

1. You slogged away doing something you weren’t good at.

Tomorrow, put up your hand, ask for help, and show vulnerability.  Great team players use the team to make them better.

2. You let a chance to give a teammate feedback slip away.

Tomorrow, grab a cup of coffee and share an idea you had about how your teammate could be even better. Chances to give concrete examples are precious. Don’t let them pass you by.

3. You waited for your boss to provide clarity.

Tomorrow, call out an issue that might affect your business and suggest how it might impact the team.

4. You said yes to something you don’t have time to do well.

Tomorrow, question the work and, if necessary, get direction on what drops down the priority list.

5. You smiled and nodded in a team meeting.

Tomorrow, add value.  If an idea is great, say why. If you’re concerned, share what’s worrying you. Don’t waste your seat by staying quiet.

6. You let your biases about your teammates cloud your judgment about what they said.

Tomorrow, evaluate critically and fairly the ideas from everyone. Be more discerning about ideas from those you like and more open to ideas from those you don’t.

7. You watched as someone shut down a teammate who thinks differently.

Tomorrow, make a point of calling out a comment that is unique or uncomfortable.  Encourage your teammates to wrestle with it.

8. You wrote off the teammate who is different from you as frustrating, disrespectful, or wrong.

Tomorrow, talk about the teammate who is different as complementary to you.  Find an issue you can work on together and explore how you see the world differently.

9. You complained to your boss before trying to address the issue directly with your teammate.

Tomorrow, go to the source and try to resolve the issue as two mature adults. (Instructions here.)

10. You had lunch with the same people you have lunch with every day.

Tomorrow, sit with someone else. Break your patterns and make an effort to get to know your teammates better.


Post a comment and let me know which one resonated with you.

Further Reading

The ‘You’ in Team

You Get the Team you Deserve

What is a Vital Team?

6 Responses to 10 things you did today that undermined teamwork

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