Are you working on a team today? My guess, as you sit here reading this, you’re teammates aren’t far away.  In fact, you can probably look up from you’re screen right now and see at least two of them scanning their Facebook News Feed.  I mean working on something really important! The reality is, in the new world of work more than half of American and European companies regularly use teams to get work done.

That may feel like old news for those of you that have grown up operating in team environments through out school but for many the heavy reliance on teams is a new world to navigate. Today, as more and more of our work lives revolve around teams, more and more of our success is determined by our ability to not only functional well in a team environment but to add real value to the people around us.

Teams give us a unique opportunity. Every time we interact with another person we have a choice to make, do we try to extract as much value as we possibly can from the exchange or do we try to contribute as much value as we can without worry about what we get in return? Do we keep you score?

From my experience working with thousands of teams, I’ve found that the best teammates strive to be givers. They look for opportunities to be generous with their time, energy, connections, and insight.  It’s easy to think you have to be Mother Teresa or Ghandi to be considered a giver but the reality is it doesn’t require great acts of sacrifice just a willingness to look for opportunities to the help those around you.

Three things you can do to lead with generosity…

1.     Be a Connector – Be on the look out for people in your network that would benefit from being in each other’s worlds.  Think about your teammates, is there someone that you can introduce them to that can help them in some aspect of their life, whether it’s professionally or even personally. Reach out and bring them together.

2.     Be an Educator - Can you offer your expertise and experience to someone that could use the help? Could you mentor or coach a teammate on a new skill they’re trying to pick up.  If you’re working virtually, could you offer a 30-minute Skype session to share what you’ve learned from leading a recent project?  Having someone’s back by sharing best practices you’ve picked up on your journey can go a long way.

3.     Be a Supporter - Sometimes the simplest yet most impactful thing you can do is acknowledge the people around by offering a note of appreciate. It’s easy in the fast paced environment we operate in today to forget to stop and tell the people around us how much we appreciate the work they do or to acknowledge how valuable they are to your team. When was the last time someone told you? See. Lead the change. Make a list of 5 people you want to acknowledge today and let them know how much appreciate them. I guarantee you’ll make their day.