As you have already learned, there are things you should do and things you should avoid as much as possible when working in a team environment in order to optimise your own performance as well as your team’s. Here are some of the don’ts to keep in mind for your future team collaborations.
1. Do not complain – Always seek improvement. Decide your own future.
Of course, there will always be times when you will just need to blow off steam. However, make sure you can still tell the difference between that and complaining. Choose to focus on the solution rather than on the problem and you will see results right away. Identifying the problem is easy, complaining about it even more so. The difficult part is to find the solution, so that is where you should channel your energy to.
2. Do not settle for less – Always aim higher. Settling for “good enough” will never be good enough.
Some may say that “perfect” is the enemy of “good”. What you should focus on though is greatness and “good enough” is definitely the enemy of “great”. You and your team should always aim at progress, so always set new goals to achieve once you have achieved any specific one. That will not make them less important, so you can still celebrate each achievement, however big or small. It is yet another step you have completed on your way to success.
3. Do not criticise the others – Remember that everybody is bringing their best contribution to the team. Help them improve.
You should always differentiate between constructive and judgmental criticism. As the term suggests, the former encourages improvement and efficiency. The latter is the one you need to avoid at all costs when being part of a team. There is a certain culture characteristic to a team, which builds on the different backgrounds and life experiences of the team members. You do not want to impact that culture in a negative way. Whatever the background stories of those working in a team, they all share one thing and that is a common desire to reach their maximum potential and to achieve success. Remember that before judging or criticising any one of your teammates for you would most probably expect or like them to do the same.
4. Do not give up – Take Winston Churchill’s advice and “Never, never, never give up”. Stand up to the challenges, no matter what.
The chances of being successful as a team member and as a team rely on the team members’ ability to endure and commit, as well as on their tenacity. You are bound to be put to a test every now and then. Do not allow yourself to be taken by surprise. Keep looking at the big picture, communicating and focusing on ways to improve. Help to build a team environment based on mutual trust and support. Keep challenging your teammates and they will do the same. This way, you will achieve a high level of performance both individually and as a team. Good luck!