Dear Positive Way, I would like to learn to be a good team player. Sometimes I find it difficult when I don’t agree with decisions the team makes. I advocate, however how can I also learn to back off and respect the team’s decision? It is difficult as it is about children and I find that I am working with people who may not share my interest or may not understand the early childhood perspective. I would like to get your expertise on this please. Signed, Team Building.
Dear Team Building, teams do tend to complicate the communication process which, as you know, can be difficult at times. Here are some things for you to consider:
- You ask specifically “…how can I also learn to back off and respect the team’s decision?” Fundamentally, respect is earned or granted. Unless the team is disregarding the welfare of the children and making poor decisions, it is up to you to choose whether you wish to respect the decision or not. If you choose not to, the implications may be that something wrong is being done and further action on your part may be required (e.g. appealing to a higher authority). On the other hand, consider that your feelings may be about the way you are being treated (not listened to, treated like a full member of the team, discounted professionally, etc.) and not the decision itself. If that is the case, you can work on establishing your credentials and position on the team or change the way you interact (communicate) with the team to obtain a better outcome.
- The most effective teams work with a set of ground rules and objectives.
- There are some excellent books on teamwork and team building. I strongly suggest that you take a look at them.
- Communication skills can help you and your team members improve the process and the outcomes. I suggest you read the following articles and adapt the methods to your situation: https://positive-way.net/communication_articles_that_can
- Try to find allies who share your understanding. Perhaps you can even provide tutorials for the team through other experts. They may be more receptive to hearing from an outsider and it would take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Good luck with your team. It is good that the children have someone like you who is motivated and interested in their well being.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.
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