Turns out, there is an “I” in Team after all…

In our WISE Academy Tasting Room Professional class, one of the exercises we do is to have attendees list all the roles they play in their tasting room jobs besides server/host.  The ones we hear most frequently are educator, storyteller, and concierge, followed by bouncer, therapist, babysitter, and dishwasher.  What we usually DON’T hear is team member.  This is a critical role that we play every day and yet we don’t give it much thought.  It’s what we each bring to the job – the “I” we bring to work and how we get along with our coworkers – that can make the difference between a joyous job experience versus something everyone dreads.  And our guests can tell the difference between an atmosphere where everyone happily works together versus one where there is tension.

Consider this story we heard recently from a graduate.

I was going through a review with a staff member and had worked really hard to try to get the right points across. This staff member was awesome with the guests. They would just melt like butter in his hands and because of his gifts of wowing the guests he was also an awesome salesperson.

The downside of this staff member is that he was very condescending to his coworkers and treated them with disdain. So much so that he was actually isolating himself from most of them.

We spent time talking about how the guests loved him and how he was one of the top performers and then I drew the conversation to the complaints I had received from his coworkers and how they wished to avoid him. I wasn’t sure how he was going to respond. I half expected him to say that they didn’t accomplish the work that he did etc.…

I presented the concerns to him and asked if he could think of ways to turn the situation around. As we talked he came up with the answer. “I need to start treating my coworkers the same as I treat our Guests.” He got the message; he worked it out and actually became a very well-liked member of our staff.

Often times we are so fired up and busy taking care of guests that we can be short and snap at our coworkers, really not meaning to be rude, but just trying to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Or it could be that we are in a backstage area and it doesn’t seem that we need to keep our front stage makeup on.  Whatever the case may be, remember the WISE Platinum Rule – to treat others as THEY would like to be treated.  Great manners count with both our guests and our team.

So how do we become great team players?  It starts with each and every one of us every day.  Here are some tips for being a great team player that show we know there is an “I” in team:

  • Share your knowledge, skills and expertise
  • Support the team’s objectives and participate fully
  • Meet your commitments
  • Support other team members and ask for help when you need it
  • Communicate openly, respectfully and honestly
  • Recognize, respect and seek out diversity
  • Approach conflict constructively and be flexible – participate actively in decision-making and problem-solving and support the team decision
  • Most importantly, assess your own performance as a team member

Our guests will get the message that you are a gifted team who genuinely has the utmost respect for each other and they will want to stay and be a part of that.  So bring your very best “I” to your job every day!