Ministry assistants say they hear a lot about the concept of teamwork, but not so much about the specifics of what makes a good team player. These basics apply to every member of the team. On excellent teams all follow the rules.
• Be genuine
Team members like to know that the person they are working with is who she is—not one person with Sally and another with Bob. Be straightforward, authentic, sincere. Never play games.
• Keep your word
Before you commit to a task be sure you can deliver. Once you promise, you must follow through. Those who give their word lightly or fail to produce may find it difficult to regain the trust of those they have let down.
• Meet deadlines
A huge problem in some teams is that a member or two consistently ignore or break deadlines. The person who does this is, intentionally or not, showing disdain for the others. Honoring deadlines is a tangible way to show your respect other members of the team. The team functions better when everyone’s priorities are considered.
No one enjoys being in the dark. Build stronger team relationships by keeping all members in the information loop. Ask opinions; share insight and information. Teams benefit by pooling creativity, expertise, and knowledge. Very often mistakes and missteps can be avoided by simply running ideas by others before actions are taken.
• Give your best
Set standards for your personal best and consistently strive to meet—or even exceed—them. Establish an impeccable reputation for the quality of your work, your dependability, your positive attitude, and your integrity. These attributes build trust and confidence—two indispensable qualities essential to excellent teamwork.
Sometimes the assistant is the leader of the team. Whether you are supervising volunteers, working with officers in your professional organization, or chairing a committee, these guidelines help you handle the task like a pro.
• Match worker to task
Every person has something productive to contribute; everyone excels in something or has a favorite type of work. Tap into using those skills by choosing the right person for the task. If someone is reluctant to take on the task you have in mind, ask what task would be preferred. Or, your person might be willing to take on the responsibility along with one or more others.
• Keep work fresh
Doing the same job in the same way is not always the best system. Look for ways to streamline and improve whatever processes you use. Get ideas from the team. Provide opportunities for those who are proficient in one area to choose another if they like. New experiences keep workers interested.
• Be clear about the job
Prepare a written outline of the job and discuss it with the candidate. Begin with the overall goal and then list the smaller tasks to be done. Identify who the worker is responsible to and the deadlines involved. Answer any questions and get the person’s acceptance of the job.
• Be generous with appreciation
Don’t wait until the assignment is over to give thanks and encouragement. Notes written after the fact are nice and are essential, but they can’t measure up to words spoken during the effort. Make heroes of your helpers and they will be eager to work with you on the next project.