Father's Day

What Dad Taught Us About Being a Good Coworker and Teammate

This Sunday is the grand-daddy of holidays – Father’s Day! It’s the perfect summer day to kick back, fire up the grill and let the fatherly figure in your life know how much he means to you.Father's Day

In truth, dads often get the short end of the stick when it comes to appreciation. This may be because moms generally receive most of the family gratitude. (I know my mom gets at least 75% more phone calls from me than my dad.) In a bigger sense, I’d like to think it’s because fathers are the ones who are there to teach life’s tough lessons, the ones you might not like hearing at the time, but will always stick with you.

Here are a few words of fatherly wisdom that have shaped my views on what it means to be a good coworker and teammate:

“Stick Up for Yourself”

Growing up isn’t easy, and bullies don’t make it any easier. As a nerdy kid proudly sporting a bowl cut and oversized glasses, I certainly was not immune to ridicule. But when self-doubt reared its ugly head, Dad always seemed to be there to remind me to stay true to who I was.

Embracing your true self is as important today as it was during recess. Maybe your “awkward phase” has passed, but there will always be times when your ideas, beliefs or personal choices will be questioned (or even ridiculed) by a coworker. When push comes to shove, remember to find what speaks to your core values and stick up for yourself.

 “Walk a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes”

On the other hand, Dad also knew there was a danger in thinking only about oneself. Kids can be notoriously cruel, especially when armed with mouths that are virtually filter-free. This mostly comes from a place of naiveté; how can kids expect to understand a world they have yet to fully experience? When I found myself quick to judge someone else, Dad was ready to remind me to try and walk a mile in their shoes.

In a teamwork environment, this attention to others is paramount for success. Engaging in active listening and attempting to understand a coworker’s background can give you important insight to their thought process.

“When you fall down, get back up, brush yourself off and keep moving forward”

At first, I was terrible at riding my bike. There is video evidence of me repeatedly falling into a thorny bush outside of my parents’ suburban home. (No, this content is not currently available on YouTube.) Every time I took a tumble, Dad was there to tell me to shake it off, get back on and keep trying.

I still fall into bushes every now and then, but that fatherly example of determination has never left me. We’re all bound to fail at some point. In the team setting, these failures are felt collectively. It is during these times, when we’re fresh from a fall, that Dad’s resilience inspires us to get up and keep moving forward.

Take some time to say, “Thank you,” to the dad in your life this weekend! Have any more fatherly advice? Post it below!

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