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All in together - Being a team player

Thursday, December 03, 2009   By Mike Reddy


Poor relationships within the team will always reflect on morale and have been proven to impact on the bottom line.  You can make or break a career or a job depending on the way you behave with fellow workers.  Workplaces need to be profitable for businesses and for the people in them – and that means personally and financially.

Whether you are a leader or a team member there are actions you can take to create a positive, empowering, motivational work environment for people.

A CEO complained that his managers only brought him problems. When you come to the meeting with a problem, have some suggested solutions ready at the same time.  The negative effect simply complaining disappears, and is replaced with an atmosphere of constructively sharing in resolving issues.

Constantly laying the blame on someone or something else is negative and often destructive of team spirit. Don’t put your effort into finding ways to point the finger at others. People are more likely to recognise their contribution to the problem if they are not publicly humiliated in the process.  You will alienate others and end up with enemies, not conducive to your future job prospects or your business’ success.

It’s not just what you say; it’s also how you say it, and the message that your body language conveys. Apparently polite words won’t cover up for disrespectful or rude actions; sarcasm, shouting and other aggressive behaviours are never acceptable communication methods.

The middle of an important meeting with clients or senior managers is never the right time to reveal problems that your co-worker, boss, or reporting staff person is not aware of. Sometimes called ambushing, no-one wants to be humiliated by learning of problems for the first time in a public forum.  They won’t respect or trust you in the future.

Be reliable. Keep your commitments. Like the walls of the honeycomb, we are interconnected in a business.  If you miss your deadlines, it will impact on the work of others. If you can’t meet a deadline, let others know quickly so that alternative arrangements can be prepared.

Be generous and share credit for accomplishments, ideas, and contributions. When you think about it, virtually everything we achieve comes about as a result of input of some kind from others. Thank people, and acknowledge their contributions. Employees and co-workers will be more motivated to share ideas with you and contribute to your projects (and to your success).

Everyone has something to offer if we encourage them to share it. The growth of one person benefits the whole group. So compliment, praise, notice the efforts people make.

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.