Team Player – ism


It is a word oft used. In every interview, in every resumé, this word is used to indicate a person’s ability to collaborate and collectively contribute while maintaining cordial relationships with other teammates.

It doesn’t happen like that.

Being in a team means to cultivate friendships and an understanding. In real life, we are most likely part of a team to deliver a solution/product (be it a class presentation group or a product development team). We can be put into the team either by choice or not.

If you get into a team of your choice, which need not happen always, you work with people whose wavelengths match yours. You know each others’ levels of comfort, you can understand the thought processes without being voiced.

It is all rock-and-roll in the initial stage. However, you realize after a while that though you may be in a good team, you find that you reach the saturation point very quickly.

You stay within the zone of tolerance and once that convenience sets in, you make mistakes and you allow for the mistakes your teammates do. You tolerate missed deadlines, you overlook errors, you skip proofreading. You just go with the flow.

You go with the flow, up till your supervisor/head/manager comes up to you and makes you face reality with the substandard output you have delivered. You are forced to tighten the reins. But how will you?

You cannot simply become a Spartan one fine morning, demanding all the work be done ASAP.

You cannot blame others, because partly, you are to blame for the oversight.

Now, this is Scene #1.

What about Scene #2  – The part where you are put into a team and most likely, you are teammates with people whose frequencies and speed differ from yours?

You know how to work. You are given the additional responsibility of making others work (even if you are not the team leader) without annoying anyone or treading on anyone’s toes.

There are remarkably suave and intelligent people who get the work done by the team and deliver the output despite being in a team you’d rather not be in. They’re the ones we consider great Team Players. The Go-Getters. The Make-It-Happen-ers

But, there is a slight problem here.

They do this easily because they do not invest themselves. They are aware that they are here to do a job.

It is like a Recon Team – You get in, do the necessary and get out.

Ok…the point of this post is to list some of the traits of these Team Players. There is the good and the bad. I’ll try to put it in a neutral tone, and you’re always welcome to add your own thoughts and opinions.

  1. They are diplomatic.
    They say what is needed to be said, they say the right things at the right time. They are the ones we need to negotiate with a particularly difficult guy. They’ll help put things in perspective. Maybe, some white(??) lies when needed (????).
  2. They are driven.
    They work hard and know the value of their work and they make sure that whatever they have delivered is not wasted. It applies to others’ work also. They make it happen. So it’s also possible that the show runs on their lines.
  3. They bend the rules.
    Depending on the situation, they can and will stretch and bend the rules just a shade lower than the point of breaking. It’s good when it helps you cut through all the bureaucracy. But, doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t make it bend for themselves…sometimes.
  4. They are smart gamblers.
    They take calculated risks and ensure that the outcome of the experiment is always in their favour. You need their brains as either sounding boards to help take your own decisions or leave things in their hands so that they make the decision for you. Either way, you’ll have the crowd on your side and the money in your pocket (not so hypothetically). Ah…but the catch is that they’ll also be winners. You may wonder how they are applauded for certain decisions while you would not have been had you taken the same decision.

For now, I am able to only think of 4.

Can you think of some more? I’m sure I’ve missed a lot more points.

For now, Ciao!!!