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Hone Your Teams Followership Skills

You’ve definitely heard of leadership; it’s often the flagstone of expert business advice. But you may not realize that followers also play a vital role in the workplace, especially as part of a successful team. Instead of trying to get ahead and shine as your team’s leader, you may be more beneficial to your team if you brush up on your "followership" skills instead.

Here are a couple of guidelines for developing great followership skills from Humphrey Walters as posted on

View leaders and followers as part of a two-way street. There are negative connotations to being a follower because it’s often associated with passivity and a lack of original thinking. Instead, consider your role as a follower in the these terms: You support the leaders according to a strong work ethic and admirable behavior. In short, you’re a perfect example of a team player -- one who leaders can rely on.

Mind your P’s and Q’s. Your mother had it right all those years. Be courteous if you want to be a good teammate and a good follower. You must be reliable, punctual and the type of team member others trust.

Go the extra mile. Don’t be a team member who just takes up space. Take the initiative if you know you can do more to help the overall team. The most dangerous attitude to have as a follower is, "It’s not my problem," according to Walters.

Support -- don’t embarrass -- your teammates. Don’t put down any team member for any reason. This guideline is difficult to follow because you may not even realize that you’re demeaning someone. But when you say, "It’s easy," to a teammate who is learning a new task, you’re making her feel inadequate. Be sensitive so your team can keep up a good support system built on trust


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