Every Team Member Has Value - by Dave Jochum In Business Solutions

Dave Jochum

Published: Feb. 23, 2015, 11:14 p.m.
Updated: Feb. 23, 2015, 11:14 p.m.
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Every team member has value.
Do you believe this statement when it comes to the members of your team? As a leader, do you believe that each person has a strength that they bring to the table?

It seems that we, as humans, tend to see the weaknesses in others. I think this is especially true when we feel inadequate ourselves. It makes us feel better to notice that Jim or Sue has flaws that we don’t have. We then look down on them and we wait for the next "screw up” to confirm our "suspicions.” Then we begin to speculate as to whether or not we need to get them off of the team. We think, "maybe they are just not a ‘good fit’ for the team.”

Before we go on, let me acknowledge this – It’s possible that Jim or Sue are truly not a good fit for your team. If that’s the case, they will most likely sense this too. But even if this is the case, it’s not helpful to focus on the weaknesses. If the weaknesses are detrimental to the team, it will be obvious to most that something needs to be done. But before you dismiss anyone, let me encourage you to first ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I value this person as a person?

If you truly them, then you will not only want to do what is best for the team, but also what is best for the individual.

2. Have I identified the strengths this person brings to the team?

Answering this question may help you remember why they were brought onto the team in the first place.

3. Have I done everything I can to help them succeed?

The answer to this question is especially important if you hired or enlisted them yourself. If you thought they were good enough to hire, then believe enough in them to overcome their deficiencies.

4. What training or resources can I provide for them that will allow them the best chance to succeed?

There may be a conference or class they can attend or you may want to hire a coach who can help them work through their challenges and goals.

5. Can I move them into a role that will be more suitable for their strengths and abilities?

To take a thought from the book, "Good to Great,” by Jim Collins, maybe this person is just in the wrong seat on the bus. You may not have the luxury of creating another position just for this person, but again, if they bring any value to the team, then it may be worth doing whatever you need to in order to keep them.

Here is the bottom line – EVERY TEAM MEMBER HAS VALUE. Before you dismiss anyone, be sure that you, as the leader, have made every effort to make it work. If, in the end, you still need to make a change, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that did your best to keep them. In addition, the person you are dealing with will also, most likely, know that you worked hard to help them. It can make the separation much easier for both of you if that becomes necessary.

On the flip side, if it all works out for the person to stay on the team, you have kept yourself from having to find, hire, and train someone else and you have most likely created a bond with this person that will result in a great and loyal relationship.