In answering this question I would like to firstly define exactly what a team player does.
“A team player is one who responsibly carries out their share of the work load to expectations while contributing to the team’s goals. They have a positive, constructive attitude, and function co-operatively with team associates.” Richard Hagstrom
So I would think that you would expect to see some of the following things coming from a team player.
- Lots of positive comments about other people with whom they work
- A positive outlook on the future
- A realistic understanding of what each person is contributing
- A desire to share glory for any successes
- A willingness to be open about mistakes
- A good estimation of one’s own abilities and the contribution they make to the rest of the group
This is a short summary of some of the things that I would be looking for in a team player.
How do I understand this in terms of someone who has completed a Green Light Profile. Just in case you have forgotten here is a brief summary of the GLP.
Green Light Profile
The Green Light Profile (GLP) will help you form realistic expectations of your performance and facilitate the realization of your life purpose, career values and goals. It highlights areas in life and a work in which you will tend to be most effective and less effective. It helps assess present situations and sort through decision alternatives to maximize life satisfaction.
Work is a major contributor to our sense of identity and can allow us to feel like we are making a positive contribution to our families and community. Life satisfaction is influenced by the content of your work and how much it contributes to the achievement of your life purpose.
A traffic light is used to illustrate performance standards. Your Greens include responsibilities that give you the greatest job satisfaction and allow you to perform to the best of your ability. Yellows include responsibilities that you may perform effectively for short amounts of time. Reds cannot be avoided but awareness of them can remove the guilt for not being able to perform perfectly in this area. Reds are more palatable if they contribute directly to your life purpose.
Each of us has a set of core values that guides our perception of the ideal job. The GLP will help you find yours and apply your conclusions to your current or future roles.
Successful career choices are difficult to make if you don’t have a clear idea of where you want to go. Without a vision of a desired future state even a good career choice can end in confusion, weariness, burnout and powerlessness. The GLP will help you identify your strengths and view new possibilities for your future.
What is the Green Light Profile
The Green Light Profile (GLP) involves viewing activities and responsibilities through traffic light lenses.
Greens are your strengths, things you will tend to do well, these are the areas that you will excel in and find the most satisfaction in performing.
Reds are your limitations or things you will tend not to do well, a job that requires that you mostly work in your red area will not be as satisfying and can result in poorer performance.
You may perform Yellows somewhat effectively but should only do so in small amounts. Long stretches of Yellow work usually becomes distasteful resulting in a less effective performance.
Someone engaged mostly in Green work will tend to be a self-starter and great team player who is full of positive energy. Their work is meaningful and satisfying to them.
I believe that most people desire to be team players. After all we are very social creatures. The dilemma that we may discover in our work lives is that we can find that we are mostly involved in work that is in our red areas. After a while we will find that such work will suck our energy and we can begin to take from the team rather than give to it.
Someone performing mostly Red work may have a negative attitude and tend to procrastinate. They may be a reluctant team player experiencing only erratic energy spurts. They find their work meaningless, stressful and/or boring.
The effects of someone working mainly in their Red areas will be felt by those around them. It will impact on the team. A person who is a great team player when working in the Green Light area may become negative and begin impact on the overall effectiveness of the team.
So what do I do?
Sometimes you have to make a decision to look after the overall welfare of the team and disregard your personal Green Light areas for a while. This can only ever be a short term strategy. Anyone who has to work for too long in their red areas will stop being a team player.
Sometimes you cannot change your circumstances you have to change your attitude. I remember a several years ago working in a job that I didn’t enjoy very much at all. Every day while walking to work my head was saying, “I hate this job, I hate this job, I hate this job.”
Needless to say this effected my attitude and what I said to others. I had to make a decision about my attitude. First I realised that I needed a job to support my family. Secondly I needed to treat those around me with more respect and become aware of the team’s needs as well as my own. Thirdly I had to put in place the facility to eventually change my circumstances.
The solution short term was to change my attitude. The solution long term was to look for something to do where I could be more in my Green Light Areas. Interestingly at this point in my career I hadn’t come across the Green Light Profile but it all makes more sense to me now after understanding the Green Light Concept.