Friday, May 21, 2010

Hurt So Good: I Need to Be a Better Team Player

Whine, whine, whine. That's what I feel like doing. But I can't because I'm the problem.

Okay, so you see, this is how it works...I try really hard to do a good job with most things. But, recently I received word from someone that I didn't do this one thing so well. In fact, she felt confused, uncomfortable, even lied to. Not good.

I had a few excuses already popping into my head for why things didn't turn out better. My natural inclination is to find excuses or get defensive. But I didn't want to do that because at the end of the day, I knew I could have and should have done better.

How could I have let this happen? At some level I was afraid of showing my ignorance, I'm sure. But it was more than was not accepting true ownership over a project that I was sharing with someone else. And, to some extent, not being a good team player.

Have you ever done that? Been co-presenting with someone and left something to the last minute? Or worked on a project that someone else leads, and you kind of falter along barely scraping by with your support work?

Communication is so important. I am great at it in so many areas in my life, but when it comes to establishing boundaries with some projects, I am often afraid of "stepping on toes" or "being a drag" on someone else. Therefore, I am not jumping at the chance to ask for more help or to taking control of projects that need me to provide guidance.

This is a confessional sort of post. Therapeutic. I would love to hear if any of you face these same situations. Do you find it hard to establish your place in a team project when you are not the leader? I like being in charge of a well-defined project, but have always (even all the way back in grade school science projects) done better when working alone.

Ironically, I never necessarily saw myself as a leader. I imagined myself in that position, but never thought I had the charisma to pull it off. Now, charisma is the least of my concerns...I just want to be a valuable team player and never let someone down again like I did today.

How can I prevent this from happening again?
  1. Being clear about the status of what I am working on
  2. Not shying away from difficult situations/conversations
  3. Admitting when I disagree with the way something is happening
  4. Just doing the boring backup stuff
  5. Communicating to the point of annoyance
Do any of you have additional tips to add?

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me the best leaders are the best followers as well. Not only are they good at communicating they know what to communicate.


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