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Individual Team Member Contribution Source of Performance – Maximise It!

Teams in todays de-layered, over scheduled climates have little time to get organised and develop the sense and skills of effective teamwork. They feel they must get right down to the task at hand. Time pressures are particularly acute. Teams often have months, and sometimes only weeks to accomplish their deliverables. Individual contribution is the make or break ingredient for success. Consequently, each person’s contribution or lack thereof to the results of a team is a crucial issue for team leaders to not only get their minds around but to manage effectively.

Team Member Contribution

The individual is the most basic producing unit of a team. That’s the core centre of a team’s ability to perform. When everyone activates their full potential and contributes, the whole becomes bigger than the sum of its parts. Our research and empirical evidence have revealed 3 distinct areas of individual contribution which are absolutely necessary for any team to perform at the highest level. These are;

  1. Personal Contribution – to Team Climate

Climate can be defined as the general mood, spirit or prevailing feelings and opinions in a team. Each person contributes to this either positively or negatively; there is no neutrality in this regard. More specifically in the context of a team it consists of the following behaviours:

Communicates freely; Willingness to change; States wants clearly and flexibly; Strokes others- gives positive recognition; Is committed to the team. An awareness and understanding of how it takes place is essential to either maintain or improve it. It can be either absent or inadequate, or more than enough or in excess or adequate or just right. Personality traits affects this directly (DISC) and must therefore be managed accordingly.

  1. Interpersonal Contribution – to Process

How we build, develop and maintain healthy relationships is all about process. At the heart of it are the life positions we bring to a relationship. Life positions are basic beliefs and attitudes about self and others. The “I’m OK, You’re OK” position is what is required. Put another way, it means “Get On With”. Unfortunately the other three positions often get in the way. That is, “I’m OK, You’re Not OK”, meaning “Get Rid Of”. Another is, “I’m Not OK You’re Not OK”, meaning “Get Nowhere With”. Yet another is, “I’m Not OK You’re OK”, meaning ‘Get Away From”. In a team context the applicable behaviours are; Helps and seeks help; Accepts and respects differences; Is negotiable; Balances cooperation and competition; Promotes positive interaction among others. 

  1. Task Contribution – to Results

An effective team delivers results consistently, period. Each member has taken unconditional ownership to deliver and be accountable for their part of the task. In addition, mutual accountability is inescapable because some tasks require more than one person to complete. In the context of a team the following behaviours are therefore necessary. These are; Accepts Responsibility; Being Competent in Role; Seeks Excellence; Follows Through; Learns Quickly.

Each of the behaviours mentioned in the three areas of contribution has 10 sub-behavioural categories. 

Measure & Manage

The above areas of contribution require careful management on an on-going basis. That requires a quarterly measurement routine due to the dynamic nature of the issues. Each member needs to receive this quarterly feedback from his/her team mates on how they experience the level of contribution or lack of it. This will enable members and the team leaders to assist where needed to ensure everyone’s contribution is continuously improved. Intégro Learning has developed such a psychometric tool which not only saves time and effort but also helps teams to deliver what is expected of them.


Sources: Interpersonal Growth Systems USA, Ralph Colby; Intégro Learning SA – Johan Cronjé