Yesterday I had lunch at a local restaurant that has been in business for several decades. You would think at a place so well established the customer service would be great and all the employees would all be on the same page. That was not the case.
As for the customer service, the waitress was not very friendly and did a mediocre job of waiting on my friend and me. I wasn’t really all that surprised. After all, these days it is hard to find good service in a restaurant.
What did surprise me was the behavior of a couple of teenage waitresses who were stuffing napkin holders and basically goofing off.
After several minutes of waiting for our waitress to check on us, I was feeling thirsty. So I motioned one of the teenagers over and asked for her to refill my water. What happened next caused the planets to shift in my mind. It was the epitome of arrogance and dishonor. The young girl says to me: “Who’s waiting on you, the old lady?”
How do you answer such a question? . . . I didn’t. I just looked at her. She then said, “She forgot about you. She always forgets.” The young girl then turned and walked away and returned with a glass of water.
While she was away, my friend and I discussed what had just happened. I made the statement that her attitude was grounds for her to be dismissed on the spot. I went away thinking, “She will never make a good employee unless she discovers how to live in integrity.” I also went back to the office focused on being a better teammate myself.
I reminded myself that great teammates have a few things in common . . .
1. Great teammates stay focused on a common goal! Whether trying to keep a hundred year old restaurant in business or trying to win the NBA championship, great teammates understand what they are trying to accomplish and they pursue it together.
2. Great teammates are loyal toward others on the team! Great teammates never talk negatively about others on the team when they aren’t present. I recently heard a friend say, “Pride divides.” How true. Sadly, there are organizations and teams all over the place full of team members who have forgotten that the team is more important than the individual.
3. Great teammates encourage other teammates who are struggling! Last night while running with some friends a couple of us fell behind. A few miles later one of the guys who was up front ran back after he had finished and encouraged us to finish. That is what the best teammates do. They are always looking to build others up, not tear them down.
I hope you are passing the teammate test with integrity. If not, you are damaging your influence. Make any adjustments that are needed and make a commitment to be an i2i teammate!
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.