The importance of team in today's world cannot be emphasized enough. It is very important to be a team player. In every aspect of life, be it personal and professional it is all about playing in a team.
Everyone in their life, at least once says - I have a team that sucks !!! That means 1). either your team does no do too much and you're the one they are piggy-backing on. or 2). you're the odd-one out in the team, disliked by the rest. it better not be the latter or else some serious introspection is needed. Contrary to popular notion, sometimes you might end up being hated by your team-mates because you're the one doing the work and raising the standards.
In the TMP class, 185A, we had a chance to be a part of various teams. Each team has its own dynamics and needs to be handled accordingly. In team interactions, there always a certain pattern that emerges gradually. some well-defined roles emerge. There's always a leader, who defines what we need to do, the agenda for the meeting and usually provides the impetus to the activities. Then there is the 2nd and maybe a 3rd in command. Usually, most of the core decisions are taken by them, the others nodding, asking for justification, conjecturing or simply being 'ok with what you guys do'. That dos not essentially mean that the leaders are imposing their decisions on the team, but its just that at a time, there can be only one set of decisions and that is usually arrived-at by a few people usually, not by all the team members.
Some member(s) in the team are prone to more silence than others. whilst it can be argued that its up to them to make their presence felt in the team, sometimes it takes the effort of others to draw them out. I am a form believer of this policy. If a team member is unusually quiet, I tend to ask them for their opinion and try to make them fell like a part of the team. Some people just need the initial push, others remain the same after repeated attempts....