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How to Be a Good Team Player? It Isn't Rocket Science

Do you find it difficult to work with your team on a project? Is there someone in the team that you don’t really get along with? Have you ever thought that you could also be part of the problem?

There are times where you will encounter team members who you find difficult to work with. But we encourage you to assess the situation from top-to-bottom before you make a judgement. Sometimes the issue may not be that person but rather something stopping you from working with them. That is what we would like to explore today. Understanding your own abilities and team qualities will ensure your success! Remember… “Team” is a group of people coming together to achieve a common goal. That is to complete what the manager or organization has set out for you to do!

What should you focus on to be a solid Team Player?

Demonstrate Reliability. Your role as a team member is to do your job and do it without complaining. Be known for being a consistently high performer and you will be appreciated by both the management and your peers. This works for both the tasks you want to do and tasks you don’t like as much. As long as you produce results, people will notice.

Communicate Constructively. It is important to have constructive input with your colleagues or in meetings. It’s important to find ways to improve each other and the overall performance of the team. Ensure that the input is positive for the team and that you are respectful of others and their contribution.

Active Listening. Good listeners are a must have for a team to function effectively and as a collective. There will be many different opinions and methods from each team member and it is wise to consider all of them. The point is to listen, digest and then speak as opposed to just waiting for someone to finish so you have a turn to speak. Meaningful dialogue only happens when both parties involved take in what is said..

Flexibility and Adaptability. To be a good team member means you can deal with changing conditions which may require you to alter how you normally operate. With a new team and with each new project, the environment and the setting is different. Being too content with what makes you comfortable will not allow for the team to perform well nor will you be able to continue improving. Being flexible means you can consider different points of view and move forward on a decision that benefits the team the most.

Take Home Message:

Being a good team member is not rocket science, it is a collaborative effort. Assess the team situation as objectively as possible to understand what may be causing issues. Never exclude yourself from the problem, you could be part of the problem. A solid team member is able to adapt to different situations and different team members, keep in mind that the team is meant to accomplish a common goal. Chasing personal achievement for personal benefit constitutes will not always make you a team player.

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." --Andrew Carnegie

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