Your Solo Work as a Teammate

Published: February 9, 2016

Most teamwork is relationship driven. Everyone has a role and function relative to their teammates' roles and functions. Yet, each interaction is fueled by a solo decision made in the privacy of your thoughts. Before we collaborate, a few items must be clear:

  1. Do I agree with the mission, vision, and values of my team?
  2. Am I willing to disagree and manage the consequences of being different?
  3. Is the environment safe for experimentation?
  4. Can I endure the chance that my efforts to succeed might fail?
  5. Am I up for something new if things change?

There’s a private threshold of independent decision making that buffers all team interactions. Most of the time, your teammates have no idea you are wrestling with these considerations. Most likely, they are wrestling with the same challenges. Perhaps these questions would make great topics of team conversation.

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.