Most people tend to forget that the most important team member on any team is themselves. When you commit to a plan of personal growth and development for yourself – you are benefiting everyone. Here are five things you can do as an individual which will make your team even stronger.

1. Find out what everyone’s vision, including your own, is for the team.
2. Measure team effectiveness.
3. Use good communication.
4. Work to make a good plan.
5. Stand up for each other!

When you “begin with the end in mind,” you are all using your imagination to create the best, most successful, productive, cohesive and innovative team you desire! Some components to consider are what the team’s priorities, values, and desired results are, how does your organization’s values, priorities and desired results work with these concepts, and how will you determine your productivity towards these goals? All of these considerations give value to your work as a team.

When you and your team set measurable, obtainable goals; it’s easy to see where and why you are being successful. Some of the most effective ways to check achievement of team goals is with personal, individual interviews, simple measurements (i.e. “on a scale of 1 to 10, how effective is this team?”), and using unbiased assessment tools such as surveys.

By using good communication with your team and knowing yourself well enough to know what you want to communicate, you can all collaborate better. Remember that we all receive information differently and have different styles of understanding new ideas – some people need to see it, some need to hear it, etc. If you bear in mind that what works for you may not necessarily work for all of your team members, your team communication will be effective.

When your team has a plan for turning its vision into reality, then you know you’re all on the right path. By creating goals which support everyone in going to the next level – goals which work with everyone’s individual strengths – then, your team will easily be able to measure and obtain the desired outcomes.

And, finally, stand up for each other. Remind each other of the vision you are attempting to reach and whether you see yourself as “the leader” of the entire team or “a leader in the team” you can contribute and take a stand for team improvement. It can be as simple as boosting rapport by going to lunch together or engaging in a fun “out of the box” activity or even having a formal team-building event.

The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts – so the parts need to be their best. When you invest energy, time and financial resources in improving yourself as a team member – the whole team benefits.

Deseri Garcia