There IS An “I” In “Team!”

Apr 13, 2020 | Downloadable Tools for Leaders, Team Training, Workplace Communication

You know it. You’ve seen it. (And if you’re a Gen-Xer, you’ve probably seen it posted above the image of a soaring eagle in some classic ‘90s office décor).

Many of you have probably also seen the opposite end of the spectrum, which is this wonderful sentiment:


If you want to know how to improve communication within a team, the first thing that you need to know is that both are wrong. There IS an “I” in “Team” – and no, asserting your “I”-ness does NOT necessarily make you an A-Hole.

In this week’s video, I’m talking about how to build trust at work by bringing the personalities, individualism, and egos of your team away from the extremes and to a successful, productive place in the middle. Whether you’ve got the ultimate team player, yes-man who shows up for everything (but then can’t or won’t deliver) or the ultimate individual who does great work (but can’t seem to get along with anyone else), THIS video is for you, my friend!

How to manage conflict within a team – and right now, in the midst of COVID-19, how to manage conflict in virtual teams – is an extremely important part of any good manager’s role. You need to figure out which personalities your team members have and bring everyone away from the extremes we can find ourselves in.

Check out the video to see how and why!

Or listen as a podcast here!

Listen on Libysn
Listen on Libysn
Listen on Libysn

Video Transcript: Hey there friend, it’s Stefanie Krievins with Pro Troublemaker Nation, where I share tips and encouragement, so you can fix your hot messes. And today, I wanna talk about what it means to really be a team player.

And this comes from these two clichés that are out there that I’ve seen recently and I know you’ve seen a million times. They kinda get under my skin. The first is, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’. I’m calling bullshit on that today and I’ll tell you why. Second, there, the meme is out there that you’ve probably seen and I’ve shared myself. There is an ‘I’ in ‘team’, it’s in the a-hole. That’s funny, right? But it’s also kinda rude, because why, if you show up as a team player, are you the a-hole?

There is an ‘I’ in ‘team’ and here’s why. If you don’t show up, if I don’t show up to do the work on a team, there is no team. If I don’t take responsibility and accountability for my follow-through, for my homework, for meeting my goals, that add to the collective team goals, there is no team. People need to show up and use their strengths. Yes, check their ego at the door, but if they start trying to do all of the work for the team, because they’re over-using their strengths, again, you don’t have a team.

People need to be able to do their part of the work, not all of the work. Teams need to be able to debate and have healthy conflict about the ideas at hand, not attack each other personally. When you start attacking each other personally, you’re creating disconnect and disintegration within the team, and then you have no team. So in order to have a team, every individual needs to show up with awesome communication skills, boundaries and ability to have healthy conflict, and ability to be accountable to the work of the team.

My friends, I wanna hear your horror stories and your amazing stories in the comments, wherever you’re watching this, share with us where has team play been amazing and produced something amazing for your company? And where has it really sucked? I wanna hear those stories because your stories are gonna inspire us to do better work, and now, let’s get off the internet and be Pro Troublemakers in team players that get the real work done, and I’ll see you soon.

Lead Kick Ass Meetings

Download this toolkit and you'll get resources to:

  • Easily manage task items from every meeting
  • Design agendas quickly and allow folks the right info to prepare
  • Hold your next effective staff meeting with focused content
  • Run a quick daily meeting so your team gets more shit done
  • Have your staff turn in meaningful updates so meetings are shorter
  • Start meetings in an engaging way. Get everyone to laugh, not roll their eyes.