Retired educators tend to remember the students who caused them problems yet forget the ones who did not. Why educators remember difficult students is understandable. Those students gave them more stress and usually occupied more of their time.
But for the students who didn’t cause any problems to be overlooked is unfortunate.
The “good” students followed directions, adhered to rules, and conformed to expectations. They made their instructors’ jobs easier by doing things that are appreciated, but often unnoticed.
Good teammates are similar in that they too engage in beneficial behaviors that go unnoticed. Here are seven things good teammates do that go unnoticed—but shouldn’t. (And by shouldn’t, I don’t mean that good teammates shouldn’t engage in these behaviors; I mean their behaviors shouldn’t go unnoticed. These behaviors are all deserving of recognition.)
1. They listen to others’ problems. Pent up frustrations lead to busted pipes. Good teammates lend a receptive ear to those who need to vent. They curb their teammates’ emotional outbursts by allowing themselves to be sounding boards.
2. They remember important details. Good teammates remember birthdates, anniversaries, and other special milestones. They also remember details about their teammates’ problems. If the information is important to their teammates, it is important to them.
3. They make connections. Good teammates are connectors. They are intentional about connecting their acquaintances with each other for their acquaintances’ benefit. Their motivation to make these connections comes from their desire to help others.
4. They acknowledge good deeds and good work. Good teammates don’t take either of those entities for granted. When another team member engages in praise-worthy actions, good teammates acknowledge their actions with open praise and appreciation.
5. They provide levity. Good teammates lighten the mood of stressful environments through laughter and, occasionally, self-deprecating humor. Their humility permits them to laugh at themselves and not be offended by others laughing at their follies.
6. They elevate others’ self-esteem. Good teammates are gifted at making the person with whom they are speaking feel special. They endear others by empowering them with confidence. Rare is the occasion when you leave a conversation with a good teammate and not feel better about yourself.
7. They discipline themselves. Good teammates espouse the John Wooden mantra of disciplining yourself, so others won’t have to. Having to deal with wayward team members diverts the team leaders’ time and keeps them from focusing on more impactful endeavors.
If you’ve got someone on your team who engages in any of the above behaviors, don’t allow them to go unnoticed. Express your appreciation and do your best to facilitate their continuance.
As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.