- Be thankful for your teammates. Team participation doesn't always feel strictly voluntary. Still, whether or not we or our teammates really wanted to work together, we're still benefiting from each other's efforts. Every bit of work that each person does brings the entire group closer to the goal. When we feel frustrated that we can't get the job done alone, we should think about how our teammates are making it possible to do what we need (or want) to do. It's a good thing we have other people to help us when we need them.
- Useful contributions can come from unlikely sources. Often when we're assembling a team, we seek out the most qualified people for the task at hand. We decide how to delegate tasks based upon our opinion of each person's abilities. Sometimes, however, we can limit the productivity of the entire group by selling some members short. I've learned that enthusiasm can be more important than talent and hard work and common sense can trump intelligence and experience. If we look at each team member generously, we will better see their full potential for contribution to the group.
- It's not all about you. Even if you're the "star" or "leader" of a group, the entire work of the group is not all about you. The supporting members of the cast share in the opening night triumph, and politicians show appreciation to their staff when they're elected. When I ask friends to help me do something that won't directly benefit them, I try find ways to make them feel like they're getting something positive out of the experience (even if it's just good karma). We ought to show appreciation to our teammates and encourage them to feel a sense of accomplishment when the task is complete, no matter what part they played.
- Feel some team loyalty. We shouldn't automatically bail the second things get tough. A team can make it through difficult times that one person couldn't handle alone, but if everyone quits when it gets hard there won't be a team. In addition, each member of the team both gives and receives something. Make sure you're giving something to your teammates and not just taking their efforts for yourself. If your team succeeds, it probably won't just be because of you. Feel proud of yourself, but give them some credit too.
Teamwork is an essential part of my life. It allows me to do things I couldn't do on my own and provides a different dynamic even to simple tasks. I feel blessed that I have people in my life who are willing to work together with me. It's great that my efforts can be multiplied when I combine them with others. I want to be sure to properly appreciate the opportunity to work with others and to treat my teammates with respect.