A young man came to me once seeking advice for starting a new position. He wanted to know how he could set himself apart and make himself a valuable team member.
I loved the question. It showed intentionality and purpose on his part. I think that has to be step one – asking good questions and seeking wise answers – and he was already doing it.
I was impressed enough I decided not to give him just a few suggestions, but to give him a dozen.
12 ways to make yourself valuable as a team member:
Be an encourager of others on the team. We all have bad days occasionally, so it’s nice to know someone on the team who always has a smile and finds joy in making others joyful.
Embrace change willingly. Change is coming – whether we like it or not. The one who remains positive when others are negative – even in the midst of change – is golden for creating a healthy team environment.
Speak words of affirmation to others. Recognize things other people do right. Consider the interests of other people ahead of your own personal recognition.
Laugh deep and smile often. It’s hard to frown back, even on the worst days, when someone flashes a genuine smile at you.
Value other people’s opinions. People want to be heard. They appreciate when they believe someone genuinely cares to hear what they have to say.
Remain steadfast to vision and values. Loyalty is a rare and attractive quality. Believe in the place where you work. If you can’t it might be time to consider somewhere else to invest your time and energy.
Be flexible with methods. “Let’s get it done” – whatever it takes – is a great way to set yourself apart from the norm of a team.
Genuinely love people. Love even those who are more difficult to love. (This quality alone will set you apart from most others.)
Give more than required. It’s been said to “under-promise and over-deliver”. Yea, something like that. Certainly do what’s expected with excellence – and, without complaining.
Think critically for improvement. Being cooperative doesn’t mean you are void of opinions. In a respectful way, offer helpful suggestions. Be humble and purposeful in adding value to the team.
Never gossip or talk bad about another team member. Everything you say will come back around to you. If you have a problem with someone talk to them personally, before you talk to anyone else. Here’s a standard – make sure you’d be okay if whatever is repeated from your mouth was hung in the break room bulletin board.
Have a servant’s heart. Jesus said, “the greatest among us must be a servant.” Never let any job or task be beneath you. Value other people and their roles on the team. Regardless of your “rank”, see your job as an opportunity to serve others.
Join the discussion 24 Comments
1.Be the one other can confide in
2. Pray for other team members constantly
3, Speak the truth in love
Going to give this list to my youngest son who is just starting football again. We'll talk about it too, of course. He is a natural leader, and we want him to understand what that means as a member of a team.
That's a great use. Thank you!
Another important one to remember is that everyone has a bad day every now and then. Forgive generously!
Prayer and Preparation should be like putting on a good pair of running shoes before you get to the starting line and please make sure they are laced up to avoid tripping.
Ron! Some add-ons in my mind:
— Believes in oneself
— Has a passion for his work
— Listens deeply and beyond the words
— Inspires and motivates others
— Sets and holds appropriate standards
— Lives to his values
— Creates a safe environment of trust and creativity
— Is credible and resilient at all times
— Is aware of the consequences of his actions inside and outside the organization
Thanks, great list. Love that you included “Be flexible with methods” that is a huge stumbling block that causes adversity in teams.
I would add: Live truly, speak truly, deal truly with EVERY member of the team. Truth makes titles invisible and treats people equally as God does. This fosters a strong unity.
Love these lists Ron!
I'd add: "Create Solutions, not complaints."
Starting grad school at…46. Your insights are so clear, concise and truth based. Thank you!
Be a problem-solver, not a problem-maker!
Remain true to yourself, what God has made. It’s all too easy to get lost in the crowd.
I like it!
Love this. Great reminder as I look forward to another great year of volunteering at my kids' schools!
Great volunteers are invaluable for sure.