Become a Better Team Player
A mentor once explained to me that every time you say “I” instead of “we,” you take a step backwards from progress. As an early careerist, being part of a team can be challenging. You are beginning to learn how to navigate your career and your first priority is ensuring your success and defining how you add value. As a diverse individual, you may feel a silent and heavy burden to make sure you perform exceedingly well. It is important to note that, though you may not necessarily relate to everyone on your team, an isolated mentality can be your biggest enemy and hinder you from fostering success.
Diverse individuals may isolate themselves on a team, and in general, because they experience “impostor syndrome.” This exhibits itself through a feeling of fear, inadequacy, and mediocrity; they think that people will soon find out they are incapable, or a fake. This mentality can cause an individual to over-compensate for this believed deficiency or, instead, not participate at all. To combat this: develop a sense of self, validate your own self, and be confident and clear in the way you add value.
In order to be a team leader, you must first master and observe the art of being a team player. It is important to keep an open mind to the ideas of others and realize that diversity of thought promotes better results and decreases the chances of “group think.” Realizing the value that you and others bring to the team can help create a collaborative environment and emphasize the individual talents of each team member, resulting in a better end-product for the team.Being part of a team is not a competition to see how much you can control, instead, it is about contributing your talents and inspiring each team member to maximize their potential, their talents and achieve a common desired goal.