Personal career growth and team growth are inextricably tied together. Althea Gibson said, “No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.” On the career field there are three types of players.

1. Receivers… take and never give. These team members focus on themselves and rarely go out of their way to do anything for others. They are only concerned about what they can get from others and have little interest in others’ needs.

2. Exchangers… receive and then give. These team members focus on keeping score. They will give information and aid, but their real motivation isn’t to help others. They see relationships as an instrument to barter. Exchangers usually won’t initiate giving unless they want something in return. When they give without expectations it’s because they think they owe something to someone for previously received information or assistance.

3. Givers… give and then receive. These teammates focus on others. They give first and then receive if something is offered in return. They understand that success comes from being helpful, kind, and affirming. Their goal is to make everyone they associate with better and they understand the best way to accomplish that is to give of themselves. By giving first they often experience the synergy of win-win relationships.

Givers know the best way to help themselves is to help others. They create this collaboration process by investing in relationships. Zig Ziglar clearly states the essence of this approach; "You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want." How do you build yourself and your team by becoming a Giver? You can begin by taking these five steps:

1. Place others first in your thoughts. Healthy work relationships begin with the ability to recognize co-workers needs. Remember team goals and work to develop an attitude of kindness toward teammates. Show respect to people joining your team – even before he/she has a chance to earn it. Commit random acts of kindness.

2. Focus on giving, not the return on investment of your time. Novelist Herman Melville believed “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” We are linked with our team and our destinies are interwoven. As a result, when we help others, we benefit. Givers are like investors in the stock market. In the long run, they are likely to benefit, but have little control over what that return will look like or how it will occur. But since they can control what they invest, that’s where they should focus their time and energy.

3. Look for several people with potential. Savvy investors don’t put all their money into a single stock or fund. They diversify by investing in several areas. But good investors don’t spread themselves too thin, either. Givers follow a similar pattern. While showing kindness and help to all on your team, choose only people with great potential for growth to work with intensely. Also be sure their need for growth matches your gifts and talents.

4. Remember it takes two to tango. You won’t be able to help someone who does not want your help. The people you are mentoring must believe and trust in you. The more each of you is committed to growing, the higher the likelihood that the process will work.

5. The return on your time will come. When people’s motives are true and they legitimately desire to give value to others, they will receive some benefit. The return may occasionally be immediate, or it may take a long time, but it will occur.

Benjamin Franklin said, “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” Remember by taking the focus off what others can give you and turning it to what you can give away, your team and you will grow your careers to the maximum.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Highsmith,, is President of Quality Team Building. He has twenty-five years experience training and coaching. He has built and sold two successful businesses. To learn more about becoming a team leader visit our website at