5 ways to be a team player

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Success in business requires that you understand how to be a leader and how to be a team player. Your ability to work effectively within a group is just as valuable as your skills and expertise — because no matter how talented you are, you cannot do all the work that needs to be done alone. A team that works well together can inspire its members to do their best work and can come up with innovative strategies and solutions. Learning how to be an effective member of a team can contribute to your personal success, as well as the overall success of the company. Here’s how you can be a good team player:

Practice Good Communication

Good teamwork requires good communication. Practice active listening — instead of simply thinking about your next point when someone is talking — so that you can really understand the other person’s point of view and ideas. Work on sharing your own ideas clearly and directly. If you have conflict or need to address a problem, handle it constructively. Be honest, but show respect. Don’t resort to personal attacks, blaming others, or making snide remarks. Always be constructive, objective, and respectful.

Be Reliable

A team is only as strong as its individual members. When one person fails to meet responsibilities, the work of the whole team is jeopardized. Make sure that you are meeting your responsibilities and are a dependable member of the team. Do what you say you are going to do. Show up on time. Always be there to lend a helping hand. Go the extra mile. Strengthening your own personal accountability will help to strengthen the team. You will also gain the trust of your team members and inspire them to remain accountable, as well.

Actively Participate

Just because you are working in a group does not mean that you can sit back and let others do all the work. It may seem like you are flying under the radar, but others will notice that you are not contributing. Be an active participant by sharing your ideas, completing your share of the work, and looking for ways to do more. Be prepared. Take initiative. Volunteer to help where needed.

Be Flexible

Don’t expect to show up at 9 everyday and leave right at 5. Don’t say the words “That’s not my job.” The nature of your work is always changing, and different projects can require a different level of commitment. Be willing to stay late if needed. Be willing to try a different approach. Be willing to volunteer to help outside your scope of duties. Flexibility is key to success in any situation.

Support the Team

Whether your project succeeds or fails, you should be able to support your team members. Be there to offer encouragement when needed. Show gratitude for a job well done. Praise other’s good ideas. Acknowledge when a team member overcomes a challenge or finds success. Supporting your team members will help them feel good about the work they are doing so they can do the best job possible, which will benefit everyone on the team.

Learning how to be a good team member is essential to your success. Teams who work well together contribute to the overall success of the company, and individual employees who can contribute to the success of a good team are seen as valuable assets. Working well with a team also inspires the trust and loyalty of your co-workers, creating a supportive and congenial working environment that helps you to do your best work, as well.

About the Author:

Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for CulinarySchools.org. Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on culinary schools in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

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