Putting the I in TEAM

How are you with being part of a team? Do you feel you lose some of your indentity when surrounded by others?

As Australians, we were assessed on our individual achievements throughout primary and secondary school. We were born and raised in an individualistic society, which can effect our ability to work as a team.

Some of us played team sports which taught us many life lessons, especially teamwork.

The number one obstacle facing the ability for our teams to work is ‘individual resistance’. To perform well as team members individuals must be able to communicate openly and honestly, to confront differences and resolve conflicts, and to sublimate personal goals for the good of the team.  For many this is difficult, if not impossible.

When a potential employer is looking at recruiting somebody for their team, they have factors that effect their choice of candidates.  Many candidates don’t possess team skills, which means the recruiters can train them, transfer them to another sector of the business that doesnt require teamwork, or not to hire the person.

I know I would not like any of these options.  I would rather be employed as someone who possesses proven team skills, and be a part of something bigger than me.

What makes a team player?

You’ve heard of people refer to someone as a ‘natural born leader’ or ‘introverted’.  There are skills and traits we naturally develop on our own growing up, which become part of who we are and how people see us.

The ideal team attitude must be not getting overly stressed (about living up to the expectations of peers) and yet willing to speak up, use your skills and even take on leadership at an appropriate time.

I have played sport for 18 years and been part of a team my entire life.  Whether it was a soccer team, student council, or a companys committee, I’ve always known how important teamwork is to my own development.

I believe I am a good team player, as I continually analyse my own strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing who you are, what you’re good at, and what skills need work is the number one analysis and process you should go through on your own, month by month.

Why? Because you are always changing, learning new things, becoming stronger or weaker in certain aspects of your life.  For instance, my independance I have always viewed as both a strength and weakness.  It is a weakness in the way that I never let anybody help, I never relied on anyone.  A year or two ago this ‘weakness’ was soo much stronger than it is today.

By being ‘aware’ of this, I have been able to work on it and now I see myself as independent in the good way, as I have become slightly reliant on my partner.

The difference between this relationship and ones from the past is because of my change in attitude, however its obviously not the only one.

Knowing what skills you lack and possess, helps you in every aspect of life.  When applying for jobs, when building relationships, as a parent, friend, or partner, being aware of what you bring to the table means you can always be working on the things you lack, whilst doing the things you are good at.

Some of my weaknesses include time management, my want of needing to please everyone, my inability to say no, and my over committing.

In the last month (I analyse this monthly) I have looked at all the teams and relationships I am a part of and made the decision that my over-committing was effecting everyone.  I booked Wednesdays out so I actually made it to touch (my nickname on my shirt is SICMI, an acronym for SORRY I CANT MAKE IT) I decided that my personal relationships were more important than business ones and have tried to be in touch with my sisters, spend time with my mother and include Paul in the things I do.

This week is my third week straight turning up to Touch Football… and Im really happy!

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

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