Do you feel like your teamwork skills are lacking a little? If so, you’re right to be looking for ways to rectify the problem because being able to work well in a team is a skill that employers are now looking for and prioritizing like never before. If you’re not at all able to show the world that you’re a good team player, there’s every chance you could get left behind as other candidates take the jobs you wanted. Working closely with other people is not always easy, However, that’s not an excuse for lacking people skills that are critical to making efficient teams. Honing in on these tips to be a better team player will help you throughout your career.
First of all, you should try to be as respectful as you possibly can be when working with other people. That respect can stretch a really long way and show people that you’re someone who wants to collaborate and isn’t arrogant enough to want to just go it alone. Even if you think your talents are greater than the people you’re working with, that never justifies showing people a lack of respect. It will only make the situation worse for everyone in the team.
Support Those Still Learning
You definitely need to be there to guide the younger and less experienced members of the team if you have the experience they’re lacking. Rather than looking down on them or dismissing them, you should remember that you were in the same position as them once upon a team. And we all need the chance to learn from more experienced pros. You could be the person to help them gain the experience they really need if you want to be.
Show Your Colleagues You Can be Relied Upon
Being a reliable team member is key because what kind of team member only shows up half the time or only puts in the effort half the time? That’s no way to work with others, so you should make it very clear to the other people on your team that you can be relied upon at all times. They will definitely appreciate this and respond by becoming more reliable themselves. So as you can see, it strengthens the unity and togetherness of the team as a whole.
Become an Active Listener
By listening closely to people around you, you will understand what they need from you and how they need to be supported. It’s what all team players should be able to do. It’s not just about glazing over and letting people talk at you. It’s about taking on board the most important information, being able to process it quickly and then come up with the best ways to act on it for the good of your team and the company as a whole too. One way I have tried to hone these active listening skills is to re-ask what I think I heard someone say. Something like this after someone speaks - "Did I understand your point was to XYZ? Did I get that right?" That kind of summary shows you were listening and also allows the other speaker to clarify anything you may not have understood.
Communicate Effectively with People in the Workplace
Communication is obviously an important part of working with other people because if you can’t show them that you’re willing to notify them and keep them in the loop when there’s something important to know, it will only make life harder for them and for you in the long-term. That’s not how team players act, so you need to work on how you communicate with people at work and find ways to do it more effectively than you have up to now.
Don’t Sneer at Team Building Activities
When the opportunity arises for you to do some team building exercises with your colleagues in your workplace, avoid the temptation to sneer and dismiss the opportunity. There are many benefits that can come with these activities, and you can see this page if you want to learn more. You can learn a lot about yourself and your teammates when you take part in this kind of stuff, so you should go for it and make it work for you. On top of all that, you might also have a good time.
Share Ideas Openly
Sharing ideas that could really benefit the team is one thing that you definitely need to do better. Many people shy away from being open with their ideas. This can happen because they’re not confident or don’t think they have enough to offer. But you will never know until you actually put yourself out there and find out what people think about what you’re proposing. So never be afraid to share your best ideas openly with the rest of your team.
Go the Extra Mile for Colleagues
Going the extra mile means doing things for your colleagues and teammates that you really don’t have to do. It shows that you actually care about your colleagues and the team as a whole. It’s not something that you necessarily have to do all the time because there isn’t really time for that. However, there are many ways to get this done in small ways that will help you to show you care. If you know someone is having a long night at the office, grab them a starbucks or an extra soda from the break room. Its easy to show people you care with small gestures.
Be the Problem-Solver People Can Turn To
Problem-solvers are always in demand in the workplace. If you’re the kind of person who can look at a tricky situation and find an obvious way around it, you will always be a very valuable asset to the people around you. Show people that you’re the person that can be turned to when times are tough and support is needed to overcome a particular challenge.
Being a team player is a key part of working in the modern world. What are your top tips to being a great team player?
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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