How to Be A Good Team Player
Make sure that you fully maximise your contribution!
Using teams are essential in completing projects bit this carries with is a significant degree of risk: are all of the team fully behind the project and if you are managing the team what skills would you want to see from its members?
- Use Your Strengths
Do you know what you do best?
Whatever your strengths, you have something valuable to offer. Find a role within your team that allows you to do what you do well. This will help you make a meaningful contribution – and increase your chances of doing a great job. Plus, it is usually much easier, and more satisfying, to do tasks when you are naturally good at them.
Understand the Team’s Objectives
On the occasions that teams don’t function well, it is often because there is a lack of communication and understanding about what the group’s objectives are.
If you want to be a good team player, make sure you understand the group’s goals. Ask key questions like these:
- Why are we here?
- What is the ‘perfect ending’ to this project?
- What is our deadline?
- How often will we meet?
- What is our budget?
- Who is in charge of implementing our ideas?
- What roles and responsibilities will each of us have?
Be clear about what you are there to do. This will help you complete your tasks to the best of your abilities.
You can be a valuable asset to your team simply by delivering what you said you would do – on time. For some people, it is all too easy (and, unfortunately, quite common) to make promises they cannot keep. But you may really surprise and impress people by following through on what you say you will do. If you commit to completing something for the group by the end of the day, make sure you do it. If you say you will attend the 5:30 meeting, don’t be late.
Being reliable also applies to the work you do for the group. If you have high standards, people will depend on you to produce quality work. If your output is excellent one day, but only average the next, the team may regard you as being unreliable.
Be a Good Communicator
Be involved and active within the group. If you sit silently while someone else discusses an idea that you know will not work, you could damage the team’s chances of achieving its outcomes. If you’re got an alternative suggestion that might be more effective, then share it with the group.
The opposite applies as well: If people discuss a plan that you think is great, then speak up. Tell them what an inspiring idea you think it is. They might really need and appreciate your support, even if they do not show it.
When you communicate with your team members – whether showing support, or challenging their thinking – it’s important to stay positive and respectful. Even if you disagree with someone, never become emotional. Being objective and fair will make a good impression; getting upset and angry won’t.
If you have ever worked with a team, you probably know that things can change quickly. People may join or leave the group, budgets may be reduced, or goals may be redefined.
The best team players know how to be flexible. They don’t fight change – instead, they see it as a new opportunity for growth.
You may find that that the group members, the approaches you use, and the goals you started with have all changed by the time you have finished. By staying flexible, you can take advantage of the new opportunities that arise during the project.
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