Yes,There is an “I” in Team

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By Hala Bissada, President & CEO of Hala Events & Communications

You probably have heard the phrase “there is no “I” in team” more times than can be counted.  The question remains, is there or isn’t there? Perhaps there isn’t, but there is an “I” in Individuality and Independence, both important qualities to be an effective team member and to shine in a group environment.

It is important to stay true to yourself when sharing your insights and opinions.  I do not believe it is either helpful or healthy to say what you think people want to hear—conformity is a slippery slope.

Use your unique skills, talents, and energy to contribute to the shared vision and achieve the established goals. Take ownership of your assigned responsibilities to successfully plan and execute the project.

Below I have identified qualities I look for when putting together a team.

Showcase Your Individuality

Share your opinions, insights, knowledge, and experience actively, openly, and willingly.  Understand your strengths and weaknesses and capitalize on your strengths.  Don’t be afraid to think big.

Work Independently, and Exhibit Reliability and Commitment

Once the shared vision and the goals have been communicated and are understood, take the ball and run with it. I trust that I can rely on individual team members to take the initiative to get their work done within set deadlines and in accordance with acceptable standards. Strong team members care about the quality of the work they produce and want others to do the same.   Demonstrate your commitment by attending all meetings. Be prepared and be on time. Go above and beyond and pitch in when possible to help other team members.

Demonstrate Integrity and Respect and Support for Others

Always be transparent, honest, and truthful. Treat others with respect.  Have a sense of humour and enjoy yourself, but not at others expense. Check your ego at the door.

Listen and Communicate Well

Listen actively. It is important to understand other points of view and consider ideas presented by others. Ensure you understand what you are hearing and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.  Communicate constructively—speak up and express your thoughts and ideas clearly.  Don’t blame others.  It is important to share any challenges you are encountering and obtain input from the group on how to resolve any issues–this should not be looked upon as a weakness.   Be a problem-solver—come to the table with viable solutions. Don’t over-communicate—keep your reports to what is essential to share.

Display Flexibility

Events are fluid with many interrelated moving parts.  A good team player can roll with the punches and adapt to ever-changing situations.  In addition, they are able to provide recommendations and insights to assist in dealing with whatever situations may arise.

While the foregoing attributes are vital to being an effective team player who maintains his/her individuality and independence, creating a cohesive and successful team starts with ensuring the right leadership is in place. A leader must lead from a position of strength and respect. S/he should have an innate ability to connect with people and ignite the talent that surrounds them. The leader must invest the time to understand what makes their team members tick and what is required to motivate them and instill excitement.  S/he should work with the team members to develop goals, establish the vision, and clearly define roles and responsibilities. Understanding the spirit of collaboration and building trust is essential. Finally, the team leader must acknowledge and reward their team members and celebrate success.

There is an “I” in Team…embrace and celebrate your individuality and your contributions will speak for themselves.

[author image=”” ]Hala Bissada is an international award-winning event-producer and one of Canada’s foremost event fundraisers with over 20 years of experience. Prior to establishing Hala Events, Hala spent 5 years with SickKids Foundation (the fundraising arm of one of the top three pediatric hospitals in the world) where she managed their event portfolio. She is one of 20 contributing authors of Excellence in Fundraising in Canada, the first comprehensive fundraising textbook written by Canadians for Canadians. The book has made the Globe and Mail’s Business Best Seller List. On a personal note, Hala completed an Ironman in 2004 and loves to ride her motorcycle. [/author]