Whether you’re a new employee or an established leader, these three behaviors undermine teamwork and end up hurting you.
Great teams build great companies. Every company’s best asset is its people — but those companies can only achieve true greatness once those people stop being a collection of talented individuals and start working as a team.
No matter what your position, it’s in your best interests, and your company’s, to start thinking about how to foster teamwork and collaboration with your co-workers. It’s also good to start identifying and avoiding the behaviors that make teamwork more difficult for everybody.
Here are just a few common ways people undermine promising new roles by making it harder for everyone to feel like part of the team.
- Stealing Credit
This is one of the most common mistakes of shortsighted new employees. It’s simple enough to do this accidentally. You collaborate on a project, the boss praises you, and you say, “Thank you”… without, you know, mentioning that someone else was also responsible.
This may initially look like a good way to get ahead. As long as the boss is impressed, what could go wrong? Well, for one thing, your co-workers will quickly stop helping you once their trust has evaporated. When you’re dealing with artificially inflated expectations and a lack of support, it won’t take long for you to start floundering.
Share credit, and you can keep collegial relationships and receive praise and recognition for your own work. Trust us, it’s a lot better for your career in the long run.
It’s natural to want to bond with your co-workers. You spend most of your life with these people. And it’s true that, in the moment, cracking a few nasty jokes about a mutually disliked co-worker, or proffering a piece of exclusive info, feels like a good way to forge a relationship.
Don’t do it. Ultimately, all gossip does is to give you a reputation as someone who gossips a lot. Your co-workers may be friendly, but in the end, they won’t trust you much — and without trust, your ability to work effectively on a team will be greatly diminished.
- Being the Office Party Clown
Look: It’s great to have a life outside of work. It’s great to have fun. But it’s also fun to have the respect of your colleagues — something that constant party photos, anecdotes about wild parties and references to alcohol or other recreational stimulants will necessarily erode.
Being a “wild man” (or wild lady) might increase your status in college, but when you’re constantly sending the message that your job exists to support your after-hours wildness, people may very well start seeing you as unreliable. At work, it’s always better to project an image of being stable, responsible, and maybe even a little boring.
You have the right to do whatever you please when work is out, obviously. But you can keep it your business by keeping it to yourself. When you’re in the office, concentrate on what you can do for your team.
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