A good place to start being a good team player would be with this video:
It captures the first principle of good teamwork: good followership to whoever is the leader. To follow the leader you need to believe in her vision. You need to interpret it in a way that beneficial for you and the organization. If you can’t believe in the leader’s vision, you’re in the wrong team and you should be discussing the ways out with your mentor.
That said, you should know you have unique skills that make you invaluable to any team you work with. So before you feel guilty about having to close work early to take the pikin for immunization, here are your super powers, super woman!
- You are the queen of multi-tasking. Clothes in the washing machine, check. Beans in the pressure cooker for dinner, check. Carry the baby on your back and rock him to sleep while you catch up on the ironing, check. Telemundo on TV so you can catch up on your favorite series, check! Hard to believe what you can achieve within one hour, PHCN willing. 🙂
Bringing It To Work: It might be a stretch, but try asking for multiple high-profile assignments and deliverables. A lot of times, work consists of waiting for people to respond to requests for information and that’s time you could spend on other stuff. In addition, the more projects you’re working on, the less likely you are to get bored. You can always switch between projects based on your energy and interest levels. Just remember: you have to deliver. Earn a reputation for delivery.
- Your enviable skill of time management. Every second counts. You probably learned this lesson after childbirth, like most of us. Now we look back in wonder on all the years we had to ourselves that we spent lounging on couches and playing with our phones. These days, prioritizing activities is a no-brainer. Now, we know what’s most important, we know how to make those activities happen, we know which activities waste our time.
Bringing it to work: Prioritize your work based on expected outcome. Remember the Pareto principle: 80% of results come from 20% of effort. Identify where 80% of your impact comes from and work hard to achieve those deliverables.
- You’re more organized. Maybe you haven’t achieved Marie Kondo levels yet, but you’re close. It’s the rare mom who doesn’t lay out outfits for herself and the kiddos the night before. We keep details in mind like, Josh’s classmate’s birthday is on Sunday so we need to buy birthday presents by Saturday but the mall is more crowded on weekends so maybe I should buy the present on Thursday?
Bringing it to work: Good intentions are never enough in the workplace. Schedule time in your calendar to actually get work done. Split your main deliverables across the days of the week to be sure you capture everything. Put similar work in the same trench and consider other stakeholders’ calendars as well. For instance, if you have to report on some work at a weekly Tuesday meeting, it makes sense to schedule that work for Monday morning.
- You sometimes put in more hours. Many times, we feel like we’re playing catch-up on work. A quarter of moms polled admitted working at least 2 hours more after work-hours, either in the office or at home.
Bringing it to work: Consider your high-energy and low-energy times of day. For instance if you have the most energy in the morning, use your after-work hours to catch up on coursework, work planning and other low-effort work. And vice versa if you’re low-energy in the morning.
Do you agree? Has motherhood made you a better team player at work?