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5 ways to reduce selfish tendencies on your teams. 

 May 22, 2023

Written by Yemisi Iyilade, Project Management Consultant, Leadership Coach, Scientist & Innovation Expert.

Working with Team Members with Selfish Tendencies? In any team or project, collaboration is essential for success. However, sometimes there are team members who have selfish tendencies and do not see the need to work with others. These individuals may prioritize their own needs and self-preservation over the success of the team.

To be honest, there is nothing wrong with being concerned with oneself, definitely, it’s in the nature of humans to be that way, and every successful leader has had to have a degree of selfishness to get to a higher level. What I am referring to here is selfishness in a team, holding on to an opinion that suits you without considering the opinion of others or the project objective.

As a project or team leader, it is important to identify these individuals and find ways to support and encourage collaboration. In this article, we will discuss five ways to help team members with selfish tendencies work better with others.

What are the 5 ways to reduce self tendencies on your teams

As a project or team leader, this is one of the challenges when you have a team of diverse and unique perspectives, There will always be that one person that only wants or does things that only benefit them and care less about how their actions affect the rest of the team.

1) Encourage Self-Awareness

The first step in helping team members with selfish tendencies is to encourage self-awareness. These individuals may not even realize that their behavior is negatively impacting the team. As a leader, it is important to provide feedback and help them understand how their actions are affecting others. Encouraging self-reflection and introspection can help them become more aware of their behavior and the impact it has on the team.

2) Set Clear Expectations

Another way to support team members with selfish tendencies is to set clear expectations. This includes outlining the goals and objectives of the project, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each team member. By setting clear expectations, everyone on the team will understand what is expected of them and how their contributions will contribute to the success of the project. This can help minimize conflicts and encourage collaboration.

3) Foster a Collaborative Environment

Creating a collaborative environment is also essential in supporting team members with selfish tendencies. This includes encouraging open communication, active listening, and respect for different perspectives. As a leader, it is important to model this behavior and create opportunities for team members to work together. This can include team-building activities, brainstorming sessions, or group projects. By fostering a collaborative environment, team members will feel more comfortable working with others and be more willing to contribute to the team’s success.

4)Provide Incentives for Collaboration

Providing incentives for collaboration can also be an effective way to support team members with selfish tendencies. This can include recognition for team contributions, bonuses for meeting project milestones, or other rewards for working well with others. By providing incentives, team members will be more motivated to collaborate and contribute to the success of the team. This can also help shift the focus from individual achievements to the success of the team as a whole.

5) Offer Coaching and Support

coaching and support

Finally, offering coaching and support can be a valuable resource for team members with selfish tendencies. This can include one-on-one coaching sessions, training on collaboration and communication skills, or access to resources that can help them develop their teamwork skills. By offering coaching and support, team members can learn new skills and strategies for working more effectively with others. This can help them become more self-aware and motivated to collaborate with their team members.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, working with team members with selfish tendencies can be challenging, but it is important to do something about it and not ignore such behaviors. Being self-aware yourself will help you identify these individuals and find ways to support and encourage collaboration.

Personally, this is my approach with team members, to help them succeed you will have to help them grow. This includes encouraging self-awareness, setting clear expectations, fostering a collaborative environment, providing incentives for collaboration, and offering coaching and support. These tips can help team members with selfish tendencies can learn to work more effectively with others and contribute to the success of the team.

On the other hand, if you are a leader or team member struggling with selfish tendencies, it is important to seek coaching support. Coaching can help you develop your self-awareness and learn new strategies for collaborating with others. There are many resources available to help you on this journey, including research that shows how self-awareness can empower a person to change their behavior.

We will be more than happy to provide you and your team with our coaching service, reach out to learn how we can support you to become a more effective team leader and contribute to the success of your team.

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Yemisi Iyilade


Yemisi Iyilade is a Project Management Professional, PMP and Maxwell Leadership Coach and Trainer. She has worked in the environmental, nonprofit, and technology industries, developing new products and services, providing leadership, and facilitating meaningful engagement with stakeholders. Yemisi is driven by a mission to empower young people, women, and immigrant professionals through content delivery, coaching and training. She believes that if given the right tools and tactics, any motivated person can gain the awareness and grit needed to create better opportunities.

Yemisi 

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