“Be a team player”; sometimes easier said than done, right? But everybody loves a team player. Maybe you automatically think of sports when you hear the word ‘team’ but in reality, a team is really just a group of people linked by a common cause, passion, goal, or interest.  In those terms, we are all part of a team whether we recognize it or not. It may be your family, a specific friend group, or a sports club where you all share a common interest with one another.

Now, you may be nodding your head in agreement and thinking about the several teams you are a part of, that maybe you hadn’t recognized before. You may be a better teammate in those you invest more time into, but still part of other teams nonetheless. And while we have heard the common phrase “there is no I in team” in reference to the idealization that no one individual is more important than the team, each individual still plays a critical role in whether the team succeeds or fails.

Even though every team’s purpose or goal is different, you play a big part in the functioning and success of that group even if it is not evident everyday. The real question to ask yourself is this: do you want to be a better team player? If you said yes, you chose the right blog to read today. Congratulations!

The most important part in being a great team player is being on the right team for you. If you aren’t, then how likely are you to make a meaningful or significant contribution to the team, much less enjoy being a part of that team? You may be asking yourself now how do I know if I am on the right team? Great question! It comes down to identifying your WHY.  Not only is your WHY single-handedly responsible for the reasons you feel satisfied in certain situations, your WHY is also possibly your most powerful tool in life. It is the reason you get up every morning, the root of your motivation. If you share the same WHY as your team, you’re more likely to be invested in the team, experience more identifiable benefits, and experience both collective and individual growth from being a part of that group.

Here are a few steps to assist you in recognizing which teams you are most invested in and why:

1.    Think again about all of the teams that you are a part of. Create a list with the most important teams at the top of that list and the rest following.

2.    Once you have that list, write the percentage of time that you invest in each team.

3.    Now that you have the name of the team and percentage of time you invest in each one, write out the reason why you are a part of each specific team.

4.    If you want to go one step further, you can rate your enjoyment level for each team using a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being overjoyed and 1 being unbearable.

From the list you have created, you should be able to recognize which teams you are invested more or less in and identify whether or not you are investing enough time in the teams that you value most. Maybe you are spreading yourself too thin between several teams, maybe your time is being spent in a group you do not value or enjoy being apart of, but now you have an opportunity to begin making changes in the direction that aligns with your WHY. And that’s pretty exciting.