The perfect team member doesn’t exist. There are books, webinars, seminars, classes, and webcasts on how to find a good team member. I see people give advice in group discussions, hoping that it might help someone else better interview and coach their team members. Through AADOM, we have great access to all kinds of information, yet still find ourselves in the occasional pickle with a team member who isn’t holding up their end of the bargain.
Characteristics of a great team member
Though the perfect team member doesn’t exist, we can search for people who fit a certain list of criteria. Characteristics you might look for include positivity, reliability, good work ethic, eagerness to learn, coachability, adaptability, confidence, efficiency, thoroughness, passion, creativity, honesty, humility, respect, kindness, assertiveness, integrity, trustworthiness, dedication, sincerity, consistency, professionalism, etc. This list could go on forever.
What are the chances of finding someone who has all these things? One in a million?
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Aim for the perfect team instead
A team with the right coaching can achieve all these characteristics. If each team member is a leader, they have respect for each other and can achieve perfection by leading each other. It is important for every team member to be a positive example; they each must give of themselves to have that great team member mentality. Coach and teach each one of your team members how to be the kind of person you’re looking for. Find someone who checks off a quality on your list and give your expectations for what they’ll learn and accomplish.
Have your team communicate what they expect of each hire in the beginning. Then hold a team meeting to ask what’s important regarding the new team member. Create a list of agreements they can attest to. What if you could agree as team members to be accountable and responsible with a list of items and hold each other to the agreement? Holding each other accountable is difficult, but it needs to be done.
It starts with a terribly uncomfortable meeting to discuss someone’s behavior or issue, then the team drama begins. They talk about the issue with others, whispering and grouping together about this issue or problem they have. Sometimes the problem comes from not knowing and guessing what is going on with someone else. People and their perspectives on things can fuel the drama. Usually, the office manager is the last to know what is going on, and by then, it’s become an HR issue with written warnings.
Below is an example team member agreement that you can use in your office:
Team Member Agreements
- I will be on time, wearing my name tag and a presentable uniform.
- I will respect the confidentiality of our patients, families, team members, and doctors.
- I will maintain a high standard of patient care in our office.
- I will provide team members with a supportive environment where we work together to reach our daily tasks and patient care standards.
- I will work to help the team until we are finished each day.
- I will make a positive contribution to the team and practice.
- I will communicate by actively listening and responding appropriately.
- I will avoid complaining about or criticizing one team member to another team member.
- If I am approached by someone with a complaint or issue, I will redirect them to the person they have the issue with or to the office manager.
- I will help with solutions to problems and support my team with new ideas to build a better team and improve myself.
- I will do my best to keep personal issues outside of the office and conduct myself as a professional.
- I will accept responsibility for my words and actions.
- I will listen to corrective coaching and do my best to improve myself and others.
- I will respect my team members.
I have read the above team member agreements and will keep these agreements with the team. I understand if I don’t fulfill my part of these agreements, my team members will hold me accountable and help coach me to be a better team member.