Most people think of themselves as being good teammates because they recognize macro selfishness—obvious, big-picture selfishness. They grasp that disregarding others’ feelings, having self-serving motives, and not sharing the credit are selfish behaviors and signs of being a poor teammate.
But many of those same people disqualify themselves as good teammates because they fail to recognize micro selfishness—some of the distinction’s more subtle nuances.
Here are six signs you might not be as good of a teammate as you think you are:
1. You have conditional relationships. Are your relationships governed by restrictive conditions? I will help you, if you help me. I will get your back, if you get mine. If your relationships contain these types of limitations, you might not be as good of a teammate as you think you are.
Good teammates understand that not every relationship is going to be mutually beneficial. Sometimes you are going to be asked to carry more than your share of the load—because doing so is what is best for your team. Good teammates don’t resent helping others, even when that help isn’t reciprocated.
2. You’re not equally excited about your teammates’ success. How do you react to hearing your teammates’ good news? If you’re not as excited about your teammates’ success as you are about your own success, you might not be as good of a teammate as you think you are.
Good teammates embrace the idea that when one of us wins, we all win. They are never jealous or envious of another teammate’s accolades. They celebrate their teammates’ individual victories with the same fervor as they would their own victories.
3. You complain. How do you respond to problems? If you choose complaining over confronting, you might not be as good of a teammate as you think you are.
Good teammates confront problems; they don’t complain about them. Confronting involves action and leads to resolution. Complaining is merely airing your displeasure. Good teammates possess the courage to engage problems and the gumption to remedy them.
4. You are moody. Do you have a consistent demeanor? If your mood fluctuates the breadth of the spectrum around the other members of your team, you might not be as good of a teammate as you think you are.
Good teammates realize their emotional state influences others. They minimize disruptions by avoiding frequent mood swings. Intentionally regulating their mood to meet their teams’ needs creates a harmonious environment, conducive to team growth.
5. You are stingy with praise. How well do you convey your appreciation for your teammates? If you are stingy with your compliments, you might not be as good of a teammate as you think you are.
Good teammates praise regularly, generously, and openly. They don’t withhold their acknowledgement, appreciation, or admiration. When a fellow teammate does something that is praiseworthy, they make sure that action is recognized with timely praise.
6. You despise being inconvenienced. What is your response to situations that take you out of your comfort zone? If you balk at being inconvenienced, you might not be as good of a teammate as you think you are.
Good teammates are willing to sacrifice their personal comfort for their teams’ benefit. Nobody enjoys being inconvenienced, but refusing to assist a teammate in need because the situation is less than ideal for you demonstrates a lack of true commitment to your teams’ best interests.
The next time you assess how good of a teammate you are, be sure to not to discount the above behaviors. Although they seem small, underestimating their impact can be a big mistake
As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.