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Are you tuned to WIIFM?

WIIFM = What’s in it for me? If this is where you stay tuned you will never completely experience the satisfaction and fulfillment of accomplishment as part of a team effort.

There’s nothing wrong with looking out for yourself. Your own thoughts and beliefs must be the starting point for making decisions that involve what you are doing, in your personal life and in your career. You must believe in yourself, first and foremost, for your personal life and business life, your dreams and visions, to get sorted out and to move forward.

Self-leadership reflects your ability to make decisions and take ownership of them. It is important to be pro-active and show leadership on a personal level and in your career. Making sure you are in charge of you, and in control of yourself is essential. This is important so that you can inspire and lead others, with collaboration and trust.

There is power in a group of people who work together toward a shared goal. More can be accomplished by working together. An efficiently functioning team boosts strengths and brings out the best in each member.

Three C’s : Collaboration, communication and cooperation are needed to be successful.

Individuals should hone their skills by practicing the following.

Listen carefully to others

Ask questions to clarify others’ ideas

Encourage and support team members’ efforts

Be open and actively get to know other team members

Develop trust and a sense of mutual respect

Take responsibility and accountability

Give and receive feedback without being defensive

Develop strategies for problem solving

Focus on good time management

Follow organizational protocol

Know the rules and follow them

Set goals as a group

Develop strategies for good decision making

Learn how to run and participate in meetings

Acknowledge and show appreciation for others’ contributions

Don’t be concerned about who gets credit

Actively participate in resolving any conflicts

Define the roles of team members

Stay committed to helping each other learn and progress

Support the team’s efforts to those outside the team

Be willing to make sacrifices

Build relationships by having a friendly disposition

Great teams are made up of people who support and complement each other. When individuals develop to their fullest potential they can contribute more to the entire team. No matter how smart, talented, driven or passionate you are, your success is enhanced by being a part of a successful team working together toward a shared goal and vision.

Andrew Carnegie said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

It doesn’t matter how small or large the team is, how formal or informal the organization is; it gets down to collective actions, teamwork and collaboration. You can rise to new heights, accomplish more as a team than you can alone.

Realize the benefits for you of individual and team accomplishment. It is very rewarding and fulfilling and you will discover more joy in your work as a good team member.

Becky Vaughn-Furrow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.