I could swear that, a few months ago, there was a thread about people who are not team players at work. Actually, it was more pointedly about “credit hogs”, and I think it was in the Pit. But I can’t find it for the life of me, and I’m really interested in hearing some opinions about how to balance being a team player with making sure to get credit for work done.
Some background about my particular situation: I used to be a mental health therapist and, as such, was really just responsible for seeing my clients. Yes, I was part of a treatment team for each client, but the roles of individual team members were generally clear and there was little toe-stepping-upon. I was not responsible for marketing the mental health clinic, per se. I did generate referrals, but that was pretty much an added bonus and not an expected part of my job.
I am now an Career Counselor. Part of my job is doing the actual counseling and placement. However, other big parts of my job are generating referrals, building relationships with employers and companies, and helping to plan events specific to our industry.
Every day, practically, I come across a situation where I have to decide whether to be pushy about the fact that I have achieved something, or whether to be more of a team player. On the one hand, I love being part of a team and achieving things as a team. On the other hand, work performance is evaluated by what we achieve individually, as well as how well we play with others, so to speak.
Here’s a good example. I am on a team which is planning an event for this fall. We needed a speaker, and were having a hell of a time coming up with one. I finally came up with someone, and the rest of the team was enthusiastic about the idea. I contacted her, explained our request, and she accepted. Another team member wrote up the meeting minutes, which went to our bosses, and they stated, “We decided on so-and-so for our speaker, and she has agreed to do it.” So, yes, that’s true, but there’s also a selfish part of me going, "Wait a minute! I want the credit for this!"
How do you decide how to strike this balance? Managers, how do you recognize individual achievement versus team achievement? How do you know who did what, if you are hearing the end results?
I’ve watched 3 seasons of The Apprentice and I’m no closer to figuring this out.