A well-functioning team is like a symphony, each part working in harmony with the rest. Unfortunately, some teams don't work that way at all!

So, what can you do if you find yourself in the midst of a team that makes more noise than music?

The first step is always to consider how you can change your own behavior, attitude or level of participation. Ask yourself, "Am I fully engaged in this team right now?" After all, you choose to contribute - or hold back - at every moment.

If you are unhappy with your teammates, don't wait for others to change or do their share; stop keeping track of who did what. Can you imagine a soccer player, stepping off the field after scoring a goal and saying, "That's it! I've done my share, now it is your turn!" A group of people becomes a true team when every individual is willing to do more than his or her share.

The ability to be a supportive member of the team is something that carries over into so many areas of life: family life, marriage, friendships, sports, workplace dynamics, neighborhoods and community.

Over the coming week, notice the different teams that you are a part of, and pay close attention to the level at which you're playing. Is it time to step up?

Ask yourself:

* What does the team need from me?

* How can I build more harmony among the team members?

* Am I playing the best role I can - or am I settling for one that feels safe?

Author's Bio: 

Julia James, CPCC, PCC, M.Sc. is a multi-lingual certified life coach, award-winning author and International speaker. She helps busy professionals around the world achieve balance in their lives through individual coaching and workshops. Author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution and the audio CD series, Guided Mini-Retreats for Busy People, she provides tools to manage stress effectively and to relax and re-energize quickly. Julia has been featured on Joy TV, CBC News, as well as in The Globe & Mail, Glow Magazine, BC Business Magazine and The Vancouver Observer. For more information visit: www.juliajames.ca