There are three attitudes that need to be present in each team member to make the team a peak performer. Those three are confidence, humility, and commitment. When these three are present in each member of a team then the groundwork is set for an efficient, effective team. Of course a team can be effective without any or all three of these, but it will be much more work and much less of a team effort. Let’s take a quick look at the three and why each is vitally important.
Each team member needs to recognize that they have something to contribute. Each member needs to feel they are a vital key to the team. If this is lacking then participation by that member will be diminished, which in turns affects the rest of the team. When one person’s contributions are lacking then a part of the solution is also missing and it is up to others to pick up the slack.
Have you ever been in a situation where someone asked a question, you knew the answer, but were reluctant to give it? What happened? Either the person who asked the question has to go fishing for an answer, or someone else gives a different answer than yours, or someone spoke up and gave the same answer as you would have done. What ever happens as a result of your inactivity is different than if you would have answered. By withholding your contribution you have changed the dynamic of the situation. The real problem is that by not responding you have increased the probability that you won’t answer the next time either. Now you are working in a diminished capacity that affects you and the outcome for the rest of the team.
When each person on a team realized and internalized that they are a vital part of the team and has the confidence that their contributions are important the team can begin to approach its best possible working conditions.
This may seem like a contradiction to the previous point, but it is an augment and complimentary. Humility is understanding that your contributions are important, but they are not the most important. It is the realization that you have something to contribute to the team, but so does each team member. The problem with confidence is that it can become overpowering to the point of arrogance and a lack of understanding for fellow team members. Humility keeps the confidence in check by maintaining that each person has a vital and equally important contribution to make to the team.
Humility is a critically important factor in that humility is a key ingredient to unity. The team cannot be unified in purpose and goals unless each member is willing to value all others’ contributions as important as their own. Humility is not self-deprecation, nor is it devaluing yourself or your involvement. It is a position of strength and self actualization where you understand yourself well enough to understand the importance of others, not only of their opinions and contributions, but as valued individuals with contributory strengths, and talents.
The last necessary quality for the most effective team is for each member to be totally committed to the team. This is most difficult because of our society and the low priority it places on commitment. Commitment does not mean I give myself totally until something better comes along. Commitment means I am surrendered to the task at hand until it is completed. It has nothing to do with hurt feelings, other people opinions, disagreements, or anything else except doing whatever it takes to complete the tasks wherein my commitment lies.
Often times the commitment to the team is tempered by whether I get my way, whether I agree, whether I feel valued, whether I like the results, whether… In commitment there is no whether, it is commitment without qualification. The only time to withdraw that obligation is when ethically or morally you are challenged by the decision or outcomes of the teams’ work.
When each team member is recruited for a team because of their talent and need for the task of the team, they need to come with confidence, humility and commitment to assure the best outcome for the team and its work.