Just yesterday, one of my male colleagues called me and said, “I know I’m about to sound sexist, but can you please tell me why it is so hard to do business with women?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I just finished a conversation with a woman I’m doing business with and she was so … catty. It wasn’t an isolated experience.”
After digging further, it boiled down to one thing: neither one of them had communicated like team players.
Over the years, I have hired and fired talented people simply because they could not work as a team. They didn’t understand that being team players—in business and in life—we go further faster.
Are you a high-value team player/woman?
Before expecting others to be team players, consider this list as a self-evaluation tool or self-development checklist. You may not be able to control what others do to improve their teamwork IQ, but you can ensure yours is off the charts. Here’s how:
You put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You strive to listen with their ears, see through their eyes and feel with their heart.
Consider your words from their perspective
You consider the knowledge, experience and biases they bring to the conversation—and honor all of it appropriately.
Make eye contact and aim to REALLY see them
It’s been said that the eyes are windows to the soul, so you strive to capture what isn’t being said.
Show up fully present
You put away the phone and give others and their ideas your undivided attention.
Pay attention to and mirror their body language
If you sense confusion, you pause and slow down. If they smile, you smile back. If they’re upset, you slow down and ask why.
Let emotions subside before you discuss hot topics
You understand that emotions can distort reality. You allow yourself and them the space to regain composure.
Take the time to think about what you want to say
You show up prepared “to play” so to speak. You avoid “winging it” when it comes to crucial, high-stakes conversations.
Are willing to be vulnerable
You know that vulnerability takes courage, yet is powerful team-bonding glue. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” — Brene Brown.
Are willing to surrender
You understand that sometimes losing a fight can win a stronger relationship.
You are a team player even when others forget
Team players are leaders. As a leader, it is your job to set the standard and model what you expect from others.
In the words of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Let’s show the world that women are superb team players!